We reported back on September 14 that Allen Iverson looked to be headed to China to further his career. Now it looks as though he is switching his sight from the Far East to the Near East (sorry to use such Occidental terms). The dynamic duo (Wojnarowski and Spears) over at Yahoo! Sports is reporting that former the All Star is moving closer to a deal with Turkish team Besiktas. The deal would be worth approximately $2 million for one year with incentives and bonuses. Likely included in the bonuses would be proceeds from advertising rights and revenue. Besiktas sent Iverson the offer on Monday.
From Yahoo!: “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.”
It is unknown in what terms Moore is comparing distance. In the interstellar sense, Turkey and the United States are bed buddies. However, Istanbul is 5104 miles from Philadelphia, where Iverson last played in the NBA. So sure, they are close. Just as close as Iverson was to actually playing like an All Star last season.
Despite making the Eastern Conference All Star Team last season, proving that fan voting is a complete joke, Iverson’s fall from grace has been nothing short of remarkable. Only John Edwards has hit the floor harder from a fall from the top than Iverson has in recent memory. He has struggled with alcohol, gambling, debt, and family problems over the past years. All of which came to a head last season.
Iverson was hoping to at least get an invite to a training camp this summer, but one never came. (Tracy McGrady received one though after begging every team to take him.) Now Turkey appears to be his best option even after fielding more lucrative deals from Chinese teams who seem to have a hunger for street savvy former NBA point guards. (See: Stephon Marbury)
A change of scenery may be nice for Iverson but only time will tell if he really benefited from it. If he takes the deal, which Besiktas is hoping he will sign by week’s end, we will know in a year if Iverson’s playing days are truly finished and if the Turkish media likes to talk about practice.