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David Wesley
David Wesley
Position: -
Born: 11/14/70
Height: 6-1 / 1.85
Weight:203 lbs. / 92.1 kg.
Earnings: $32,735,000 ($47,028,194*)
Wesley feels that tanking is not something that is apart of a grand scheme where the players are involved. Rather he feels that it comes from above, where the front office deliberately fields a team that is incapable of competing on a night-in-and-night-out basis, similar to what the Philadelphia 76ers have done during this season. In the extreme case of the infamous 1996-97 Celtics, M.L. Carr was not only head of Celtics’ personnel decisions, but he was the team’s coach — being able to execute his plan from above to the Celtics’ bench. “Each and every night I thought we were trying to go out there and win. I couldn’t understand why I’m having an awesome quarter why I’m sitting the whole next quarter. It never even occurred to me.
David Wesley, a 14-year NBA veteran (New Jersey, Boston, Charlotte/New Orleans, Houston, Cleveland), and current color commentator for the New Orleans Pelicans on FOX Sports New Orleans made it a point to discuss the perceived tanking epidemic that seems to be running rampant amongst the league’s bottom feeders. Appearing on the Celtics Beat podcast on Saturday, March 15th, Wesley was ready to sign out before asking the hosts of the show, Rich Conte and Dr. Andre Snellings, if he could discuss tanking. “I was listening to Brent Barry [on the 3/8 edition of the Celtics Beat podcast], and he was talking about Chicago, and the guys that didn’t play on the team the next year…the year they were tanking [1999]. My last year [in Boston], and I heard M.L. Carr come out and talk we were tanking back then. We had…Frank Brickowski, Stacey King, Alton Lister…And then we had Michael Hawkins…Nate Driggers, Junior Burrough, Steve Hamer, Brett Szabo — all their last years…And that’s who we were going to war with. And of course there were Eric Williams, Antoine Walker, Rick Fox, Pervis [Ellison], Todd [Day], Dee Brown” Wesley told CLNS Radio.
Wesley, 41, replaces longtime broadcaster Gil McGregor, an original member of the Hornets’ broadcast team who had spent 24 years behind the microphone. “Right now I’m trying to figure out my way, what to do,’’ Wesley said. “I’ve been doing a a lot of tape watching, studying and preparing. and doing this to the best of my ability. I want to be good; not average. When I hear stories about Gil, people miss him. People have talked to me and asked if you are replacing Gil. They say, ‘We loved him, because he made us understand.’ So I want to be like that.”
Former New Orleans Hornets guard David Wesley played 14 seasons in the NBA and was known for his drive and durability. Now he’s a rookie all over again. Not on the court, but in the broadcast booth. He begins his first season as a color analyst for the Hornets’ broadcast team on the new Fox New Orleans Sports network that launches Wednesday with the Hornets’ opening night game against San Antonio. With no prior broadcast experience, Wesley had spent the past two years as an assistant with the Texas Legends in the National Basketball Development League, before he was extended the broadcasting offer.
Wesley said he has wanted to coach since before his playing career took off, when he coached his brother’s team in a city league while he was a sophomore in high school. He said the two biggest influences guiding his coaching outlook are two very disparate personalities — Paul Silas and Jeff Van Gundy. “I liked Paul Silas from the simple fact that he is a motivator,” Wesley said. “He is great at controlling egos and tempers, making sure everything is right and that you can function as a team. That is what he excelled at a lot. Jeff Van Gundy was more of a tactical, instinct guy. He would just say, ‘This is how it is,’ he would give you the hard truth, take it or leave it. I think you can learn a lot from personalities like that.”