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Posted on: November 16, 2010 5:10 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:48 pm

Allen Iverson loses in Besiktas of Turkey debut

Former NBA all star Allen Iverson made his debut for Besiktas Cola Turka, a professional basketball club in Turkey, on Tuesday. Posted by Ben Golliver

Former NBA all star, and future Hall of Famer, Allen Iverson made his long-anticipated debut for Besiktas Cola Turka, the Turkish professional basketball team that recently inked him to a multi-year contract, on Tuesday.
Besiktas Cola Turka faced Serbian A-league team Hemofarm Stada in a European Cup game in Istanbul, Turkey. According to stats provided by, Iverson scored 15 points, grabbed three rebounds, dished out two assists and committed two turnovers in 23 minutes of action.  According to wire reports, "Turkish fans shouted 'Allen Iverson, the son of Besiktas Cola Turka' during the match." allen-iverson-turkey2 Here's video of Iverson's Turkey debut, courtesy of EuroBasketTV. Around the three minute mark of the video, Iverson converts a 4-point play.  The pictures and video are pretty surreal, and not only because Iverson has traded in his familiar No. 3 jersey for a Besiktas No. 4. It's really him out there, but it sure doesn't feel like it given the surroundings.
Category: NBA
Posted on: November 10, 2010 10:16 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:40 pm

Allen Iverson cheered at soccer match in Turkey

Former NBA guard Allen Iverson has thousands of fans chant his name at a Besiktas FC soccer match. Posted by Ben Golliver

When former NBA all star guard Allen Iverson signed with Turkish basketball club Besiktas, it was a stunning decision and one we met with skepticism.  Turkey? Really? So far from home. So far off the basketball map. So far from Iverson's cult following in the United States. It seems we've seriously underestimated Iverson's global street cred.  First, Iverson was mobbed upon his airport arrival in Turkey like a long lost member of the Beatles. 

Now comes video of Iverson attending a Besitkas FC soccer match on Monday -- courtesy of --  and drawing huge cheers from the club's supporters. 

Iverson stands up to receive a ridiculously warm welcome from the crowd that reportedly numbered more than 30,000. Eventually, the group breaks into a loud, repeated chant of his name. The reception is legitimately goosebump-inducing and Iverson takes in the cheers with a huge smile, donning a team scarf as he shakes hands and meanders through the crowd. All of a sudden, Iverson's Turkish travels feels a lot more adventurous, and a lot less desperate. The Answer has always danced to the beat of his own drum, and it's nice to see, even in Turkey, that fans are happy to dance and sing along to that beat, at least for now.

Hat tip to J.E. Skeets.
Category: NBA
Posted on: October 29, 2010 5:32 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:15 pm

Allen Iverson to Turkey is officially official

Allen Iverson signed with Besiktas, a professional basketball team in Turkey, during a press conference in Manhattan. Posted by Ben Golliver Earlier this week, we noted two reports (here and here) that linked former Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson to the Turkish club Besiktas. Last night, Iverson's management company issued a press release confirming that Iverson had agreed to sign a 2-year, $4 million contract with the team and that he would sign it during a ceremony at the St. Regis hotel in Manhattan. That ceremony took place today and, from the looks of it, I wish I had been there. This picture, for example, is pretty incredible, as Iverson is either holding his future jersey, a tent flap or maternity clothing, I can't tell which. Kate Fagan reports that Iverson plans to move his family to Turkey with him and that he claims money is not a problem.
"It’s not a problem, it’s not a problem – money. Obviously if it was about money, I would jump out there and say, ‘You want me to come off the bench? How much money are you paying?' It wouldn’t be a big deal. It’s not about money or anything like that. It’s the fact that I want to play and contribute what I can give to a basketball team. I made a ton of money playing in the NBA and all I want to do is play basketball and be happy. I’m at the point in my career where mentally and physically I know I can play basketball and that’s what I want to do. If I can’t play in the NBA, but I want to play basketball, that’s a decision I have to make."
Here's some video of the signing, via, which shows Iverson shaking hands with Besiktas executives. What a surreal scene, and my immediate impulse is to conclude that, despite Iverson's move halfway across the globe to play basketball, we'll be seeing The Answer pop up from time to time for many years to come. Unfortunately, I'm cringing at that thought. Hopefully Iverson gets this back on track before he reaches Tyson Territory.
Posted on: October 25, 2010 9:27 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:03 pm

Allen Iverson to Turkey confirmed by Besiktas

Allen Iverson has reportedly agreed to join Besiktas, a basketball team in Turkey. A top official has confirmed that the move is likely. Posted by Ben Golliverallen-iverson
Last night, we noted a Yahoo! report that states all star guard Allen Iverson is set to agree to terms with Besiktas, a prominent basketball club in Turkey.  Today, the Associated Press reports that a top official for the club believes a deal will be reached.
Besiktas executive board member Seref Yalcin told the Anatolia news agency Monday that he will travel to the United States to discuss terms of a possible deal with the 11-time NBA All-Star and former scoring champion.
Yalcin said he would discuss "a variety of details" with Iverson later this week. He said issues included schools in Istanbul for Iverson's children.
Yalcin said "I think this transfer will take place."
AFP news agency provides greater detail and more quotes from Yalcin.
"Unless there is a massive difference of opinion, we think he will come to Istanbul in 10 days. "Our agreement is for a year with the option of extending it by another year. We have agreed wages of 1.5 million dollars for the first year, to which will be added a bonus of 300,000 dollars on his passing a medical after arriving in Istanbul," he added.
Iverson crashed and burned out of the NBA twice last season, first in Memphis and then later in a return trip Philadelphia, so it's not a huge surprise he wasn't able to drum up NBA interest. But Turkey? It seems a random and far-fetched home for Iverson. The question for The Answer: how long will he last?
Posted on: October 24, 2010 11:17 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:01 pm

Allen Iverson agrees with Turkish club Besiktas

Allen Iverson has reportedly agreed to sign with Turkish club Besiktas. Posted by Ben Golliverallen-iverson Marc Spears and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports are reporting that former Philadelphia 76ers all star guard Allen Iverson has agreed to sign with the Turkish club Besiktas.
Allen Iverson has agreed in principle to sign an incentive-laden, two-year, $4 million contract with Besiktas of the Turkish professional league, sources told Yahoo! Sports on Sunday night.
Iverson plans to sign the contract this week, the sources said, and is expected to report to Besiktas the week of Oct. 31.
Iverson’s contract will give him an opt-out clause after this season. 
Given how Iverson crashed and burned out of the NBA twice last season, this move is not without risk for Besiktas. However, there's potential reward too, in the form of the international interest and profile that comes with adding a future NBA Hall of Famer. If there's a question about The Answer these days, it's one of reliability. Istanbul, although a modern, international city, is a long way from home in Newport News, Virginia. And, unfortunately, Iverson hit Barry Bonds territory last year, after refusing to come off the bench with the Memphis Grizzlies and attempting a hero's return to Philadelphia but then disappearing quickly amidst all sorts of accusations of gambling and drinking. While this signing isn't creating the same stir as "God Chose Memphis", Iverson's once-in-a-generation personality and skills will be a draw no matter where he takes his act.  My guess is Besiktas won't be the final stop on A.I.'s journey.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or