Sometimes the world spins w/o a push from 'Wes'
Posted on: April 19, 2010 10:01 am
I might've set a record for emails about William Wesley over the past week.
If I got one I got 100 -- one for each thing good ol' Worldwide Wes supposedly orchestrated on behalf of Kentucky in the past seven days. According to readers, he delivered recruits and met with others, and I'm half-surprised nobody's mentioned the role he almost certainly played in Sunday's 6-5 baseball win over Florida.
Wesley must've at least called pitches, right?
Honestly, it's become comical.
And just so we're clear, understand that I'm not here to tell you Wesley doesn't have influence on lots of things because, well, he does. You don't gain the reputation of being one of the most powerful men at all levels of basketball without being powerful. He's everything you think and more. But his celebrity has reached a point over the past few years where he's either blamed or credited for everything that happens, and that's just silly.
Let's take Brandon Knight, for instance.
Knight is the top point guard in the Class of 2010.
He committed to Kentucky last week.
Best I can tell from talking to people on both sides of Knight's recruitment, Wesley was uninvolved. He's never met Knight's parents and never attended one of Knight's games at Pine Crest High in Florida even though he had every reason in the world to be there considering Billy Thompson Jr was among Knight's teammates. Thompson Jr, case you didn't know, is the son of former Louisville star Billy Thompson, a Camden, N.J. native just like Wesley. They've known each other forever to the point where they're considered "family."
But Wesley never went to watch Knight and Thompson play.
Because it would've been on Twitter in a matter of minutes, and there was no sense in turning the recruitment into a spectacle because Knight was going to Kentucky no matter what. And yet you know who got credit for Knight's commitment to Kentucky, don't you? Yep, Worldwide Wes, the boogie man of basketball whose reputation has reached legendary status. Again, I'm not trying to tell you his presence hasn't aided in recruiting. All I'm trying to tell you is that he's much bigger than most realize, and he's not just out there hustling players for Calipari. For every time you've seen Wesley at a UK game, there's another time where he had dinner with Ben Howland, spent an afternoon with Mike Krzyzewski, sat with Bill Self's wife at a KU game.
Remember, he's Worldwide Wes.
Not Commonwealth of Kentucky Wes.
Anyway, I guess my message is this: Chill.
Each thing that happens at Kentucky or with Calipari is not the result of Wesley. Trying to credit or blame him for every UK player is like trying to credit or blame Osama Bin Laden for every terrorist attack. Things are more complex than that. So my advice is to chill and take a step back because though Wesley is more than most understand he's not exactly what most seem to think. I mean, if Calipari somehow ends up coaching LeBron James next season, absolutely, credit or blame Worldwide Wes. I know I will. But those who are now tying to credit or blame him for every little thing are going overboard because sometimes, if you can believe this, he's just not all that involved.