Anthony Davis signing with Arn Tellem as his agent is causing some confusion among basketball pundits.
Anthony Davis eschewing Leon Rose and CAA for Arn Tellem and the Wasserman Media Group has got to be sending shock waves throughout the legions of John Calipari detractors all over the college basketball and media world. Many have been predicting that Davis would join Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in choosing CAA as his representative.
We all just know, of course, that William Wesley (AKA "Worldwide Wes"), who works for CAA, is really providing all the high-powered recruits that Kentucky signs. We know because people like John Canzano of the Oregonian and Reeves Wiedman of the New Yorker are either telling us so outright, or providing so many connections that the conclusion is inescapable. We know because all sorts of people believe this, it is all over the Internet, and if it's on the Internet it must be true, right?
So how could Calipari not return the favor by delivering the presumptive #1 NBA Draft pick to Wesley's agency? No payback for all that hard work?
The more time goes on, the harder it is to believe the stories that constantly get written about Wesley's power and the idea that Calipari is beholden to Wesley. Isn't it just possible that the two men actually have a genuine friendship not built on the foundation of filthy lucre, grey-area or illegal recruiting tactics, and double-dealing that so many in the media have assured us lies behind Calipari's success in Lexington and elsewhere?
This news won't stop Calipari's critics, though. They will point to the fact that MKG and Eric Bledsoe signed with CAA as proof of their conspiracy theory. Never mind that Wesley is from New Jersey where Kidd-Gilchrist grew up, and has been a friend of the family since before MKG was in high school, and his signing with Wesley's agency was fait accompli.
Wesley's relationship with Coach Cal, as far as anyone actually knows, is a simple friendship built on trust. Wesley no doubt sings Calipari's praises to the young players he interacts with because he trusts Calipari -- he trusts him as one friend trusts another, and he trusts him to do right by the kids that he has relationships with. Calipari, for his part, has given Wesley, and every other player who has come to Kentucky, nothing but validation of that trust.
While some aver that Calipari and "trust" should rarely occur in the same sentence, that sort of commentary has no impact on the people who Calipari and Kentucky most need to impress -- the players he is recruiting. In this video over at John Clay's site, Jabari Parker said he spoke to Derek Rose about Coach Cal briefly, and Rose told him that he could "... trust the guy... Calipari."
Who do you suppose carries more weight with Parker -- the NBA 2011 MVP who went to the same high school as he did, or some AP sports pundit? I'm pretty sure I know.