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2001 New York Times Article with Tales of William Wesley

In the November 25, 2001 New York Times, Stephen Rodrick wrote a great, long story about Dajuan Wagner. Rodrick rode around with William Wesley in his Mercedes, visited the Lakers in their Philadelphia hotel with Wesley and Wagner, and had a lot of interesting stuff to say:

A friend of Milt Wagner's since high school, Wesley has watched over Wagner since 1989, when Milt Wagner left to play ball overseas and asked Wesley to help take care of Dajuan. Wesley has also built a murky career for himself as a confidant to various N.B.A. players. During the reign of the Chicago Bulls, he could often be found hanging out in Michael Jordan's suite after games. And in 1997, The Cherry Hill Courier-Post reported that Wesley pushed a photographer down a flight of stairs while promoting a Philadelphia event for Dennis Rodman. But Wesley insists his devotion to Wagner isn't about money. ''I'm family,'' he says. ''I'm just watching out for him.''

There is also an inkling of a hard edge to Wesley.

Wesley's devotion to Wagner includes a healthy dose of paranoia. He waited in the car once while we had lunch, then panicked when he realized I had paid for Wagner's meal. ''If that [racial epithet] gets suspended by the N.C.A.A. for four games, I'm coming after you,'' Wesley screamed, tossing a $20 bill at me.

But Wesley can't protect Wagner from everything. In July, Wagner and two buddies stood trial in Camden on charges of aggravated assault for beating up a fellow classmate. At the end of the trial, the three were convicted of simple assault and given probation. The prosecutor darkly hinted that one of Wagner's co-defendants had been offered money to testify that Wagner played no role in the fight, though Wagner's friend denied it, and Wesley claimed not to know anything of a bribe.