There were all sorts of bets and pools on how long Allen Iverson was going to last in Turkey with Besiktas Cola Turka. You will be giving your money to the people who thought he would stick it out.
Robert Huber of Philadelphia Magazine went to Turkey and tracked down Iverson (via TrueHoop), coming back with a report about how he has settled down, is not gambling (well, there is no legal gambling in Turkey) and hanging out at TGI Friday’s. Yes, there is one in Istanbul, another proud cultural export for America.
Iverson denied the reports that he took this $2 million a year roster spot because he was broke.
“Everybody is making a big deal out of the money and making $2 million — what do people want me to do? Sit at home and just watch basketball, or play at the YMCA? I had to do what I had to do to continue playing basketball…”
“I would be a damn fool to blow that much money and have five kids to take care of. One thing I do have, and I can say, is that I do have money. A lot.”
The denial is to be expected. Believe what you will. Iverson also sounded like a man not looking to go anywhere soon (something else that refutes rumors).
The story is worth reading not only for the discussion but the portrait of Istanbul, and seeing how the two fit together. And right now, they fit together pretty well, it appears.