Blog Entry

Report: Iverson close to deal to play in Turkey

Posted on: October 11, 2010 1:31 pm
Posted by Royce Young

According to Marc J. Spears and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo!, Allen Iverson is moving close to an agreement with the Turkish team Besiktas on a one-year contract that could pay him around $2 million with bonuses.

"We are in very serious negotiations with [Besiktas],” Iverson’s business manager Gary Moore told Yahoo! Sports. “Istanbul is beautiful from everything we’ve learned. It’s not that far from the U.S., and the competition is good which makes it all attractive."

Reportedly, a contract has been sent from Besiktas and now it's in Iverson's hands to sign. But a deal could take as long as 10 days to finalize. The major hang-up was Iverson’s reluctance to let Besiktas fine him beyond 1 percent of his $1.5 million base salary, according to the report.

Iverson had potentially more interesting offers to play in China, but supposedly playing in Istanbul intrigues him. Iverson's last three NBA teams - the Pistons, the Grizzlies and the 76ers - didn't end especially well. That's why he's been forced to look overseas to continue his professional basketball career. Iverson couldn't so much even get a training camp invite from anyone. Plainly put, nobody else wants him.

Besiktas is a pretty high-profile team in Turkey. It's considered one of the three top clubs in Turkey and has a nice fanbase. However, recently the team has been wrapped in financial troubles plus a lawsuit from American player Lonnie Baxter over failure to pay his salary and agent fees. I bet that part sounded awesome to Iverson.

So in other words, have fun in Istanbul, Allen. Here's to hoping this ends well for you.

Since: Aug 3, 2008
Posted on: October 12, 2010 8:12 am

Report: Iverson close to deal to play in Turkey

Is this whole thing a spoof?

If not, this is choice.  I can see AI's business manager Gary Moore telling AI, "yeah, and it's not that far from the US" and AI nodding his head.  Good match with clubs too - the club is "wrapped in financial troubles plus a lawsuit from American player Lonnie Baxter over failure to pay his salary and agent fee".  Yeah that sounds good.

Top it off with a dispute over a cap on how much he can be fined!  ("The major hang-up was Iverson’s reluctance to let Besiktas fine him beyond 1 percent of his $1.5 million base salary.")  Why worry about fines when the team could decide to not "pay his salary and agent fee".

No way will AI finish the season in nearby Turkey.

Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: October 12, 2010 4:02 am

Report: Iverson close to deal to play in Turkey


The cities that are represented in the Turkish Basketball League (TBL) are the largest as well as the most industrialized and culturally charged metropolitan cities in the country.  Teams from cities such as Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalyah, Mersin and Bursa are all extremely popular amongst foreign visitors.  In the more secluded areas of Turkey secular Islam is widely practiced but as a whole the country has made great strides with local law and human rights as to gain membership into the European Union (EU).  In the past Iverson has had incidents with the law but nothing along the lines of Ben Rothlisberger.  Give him a little credit as he has matured since his arrival to the NBA.  Most NBA fans have a problem with Iverson's image but he has always been one of the more popular NBA stars in Europe.  He's not the first American playing in Turkey and he will not be the last, there are several Americans currently in the TBL all of whom will probaly help with some insight and help with adjusting to life in Turkey.  The Besiktas team will also have their representatives and interpreters to assist as well.  Also you must recall that he was a member of the 2004 US National Basketball&nb
sp;that played a pre tournament in Istanbul before the Olympic games in Athens, Greece?

Since: May 21, 2009
Posted on: October 12, 2010 2:04 am

Report: Iverson close to deal to play in Turkey

No! Dennis Rodman still has the "biggest tatooed idiot" title!

Since: Aug 25, 2009
Posted on: October 12, 2010 1:12 am

Report: Iverson close to deal to play in Turkey

SportstimeFan wrote,

Now if he means lifestyle wise, yeah, it's closer than China, but,, what!  

In general I agree with sportstimefan's comments on Iverson's exit, but I do have to take issue with one small point. The lifestyle.Based on my own experience, the lifestyle in China is far closer to that in the United States than that in Turkey - especially in the coastal cities where most of the Chinese teams are based. Asia in general and East Asia in particular (Japan, China, Korea) are far closer in heir lifestyles to that enjoyed by urban dwellers in this country than many realize. 

Turkey on he other hand does have an urban aspect, but fundamentalist Islam has a much greater grasp on the society than perhaps Iverson realizes. Istanbul is fairly cosmopolitan, but the rest of the country is not. Regrettably Kemal Ataturk's attempt at a secular Islamic state appears to be sliding toward failure. Iverson has never demonstrated much of an ability to respect anything and in Turkey, there are many many opportunities for serious mis-steps. Perhaps not as much as in backward places like Saudi Arabia or Iran, but nevertheless, Turkey has a culture that has some of the same authoritarian and religious aspects as those afore-mentioned placed. 

I bring this up simply to note that Allen Iverson is unlikely to have much knowledge about places such as Turkey. If he confines himself to the areas of Istanbul where foreigners are fairly common, this could be a good experience for him. But if he exhibits the type of behavior that got him into trouble in this country, he is likely to experience a side of Turkish society that he would probably prefer not to see. 

I hope Iverson has a good experience. As other commenters have noted, his talent is unquestioned. It is a pity that he was unable to subordinate his ego and accept a job as a bench player for a contender - a role that might have fit his diminishing talents better than his desire to be a star. I say might because Iverson's shooting has never been very reliable and his defense - always based more on gambling than on solid fundamentals - has been suspect for quite some time. But it is my belief that he could have contributed to a team like the Celtics or Magic or even Lakers IF he had been willing to accept that he would not be in the starting lineup. 

Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: October 12, 2010 12:37 am

Report: Iverson close to deal to play in Turkey


Let this be a lesson to every young player that feels like their talent can overcome or replace hard work in achieving sustained success in the NBA.  If Allen Iverson spent any time in the gym or weight room, away from the daily casino or night club trips, he'd still be a contributing player in the NBA... 

Your comments are obviously biased and have no merit whatsoever, the reason Iverson didn't received any offers or invites from any NBA team is because of his unwillingness to accept a minor role coming off the bench.  Its extremely difficult for most professional athletes in ANY sport to make the adjustment from being the primary option to a more diminshing role.  It has nothing to do with 'PRACTICE'!  Wherever he decides to play I believe he will be successful as he still has the ability to score and he will be a popular attraction for the fans in Instanbul-Turkey or China.  Maybe he can get an edorsement deal like Stephon Marbury?  Also, there are plenty of clubs, casinos and brothels in Instanbul so Iverson will have plenty of options to take advantage of during his off-time.  The Euro-Leagues dooesn't play an 82 game regular schedule so $2 million for a fraction of the games is not a bad deal.  I wish him the best.

Since: Aug 23, 2010
Posted on: October 11, 2010 10:56 pm

Report: Iverson close to deal to play in Turkey

Isn't it comical that AI's hold up on a contract is how much they can fine him ?

That in itself explains why AI is who he is and why he'll be remembered as such.

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: October 11, 2010 9:05 pm

Report: Iverson close to deal to play in Turkey

wtf  its not that far from the united states yea its like driving from newport news to the beach al it will be fine we all will come visit you there  all the time. holy shit  he is going to be broke in a few years just like antoine walker and  hundreds of these other fools that waste there money such a waste man come from one of the biggest slums and poverty in the world  and just still cant get it right after all these years come on al!

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: October 11, 2010 6:56 pm

Report: Iverson close to deal to play in Turkey

Allen has great talent, a great heart, but no common sense and his game was about Allen Iverson. Teams that he played on were at times good teams, with the best probably being the Philly team that made it to the NBA finals playing the Lakers.

I always enjoyed watching Allen play, but in the end it was Iverson. Had he involved his team mates more and did other things to cause harmony in the locker room current teams would have taken a chance on him and invited him to a camp.

I wish him luck in Turkey and with the contract negotiations. These countries are not like the good ole U.S. of A. Deportment and respect of elders and those in charge are like gods. You must respect the managers, coaches and those that are above you in the pecking order. I am not too sure Allen is up to this system and will not flourish if he has to maintain control and not say anything outlandish to a TV audience. The team will find and bench him for remarks deed inappropriate and detrimental to the team and the team goals.


Since: Jul 19, 2007
Posted on: October 11, 2010 5:41 pm

Report: Iverson close to deal to play in Turkey

Hopefully Allen will get a newfound respect for being able to play NBA ball, he should have adapted to being a scoring gun for someone, he would still be in the NBA, coming off the bench for like a playoff team.

Since: Feb 5, 2009
Posted on: October 11, 2010 4:53 pm

Report: Iverson close to deal to play in Turkey

No surprise Iverson ends up his pro career much like Barry Bonds, unwanted.  Both were total jackasses in their prime and shit on everyone who tried to help them.  As they say, what goes around comes around, and both are getting theirs.  There's no denying their talents, but talent only goes so far and ultimately can't overcome time.  Their time is up; good riddance. 

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