Skip to content

Iverson talks Turkey, legacy, wanting back in NBA

Jul 20, 2011, 11:37 AM EDT

Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson has been there and done that.

We mean he’s done just about everything, including playing overseas. While NBA players are now flirting with European teams during the lockout, Iverson spent last season playing for Besiktas in Turkey (the team that signed Deron Williams). Well, when he wasn’t injured.

In an interview with done by Dei Lynam — which you can watch below — Iverson spoke well of his time overseas.

“They would be shocked to see how fun it is playing over there,” Iverson said of his experience in Turkey. “The fans over there are the best [basketball] fans as far as their energy in the building, maybe even more because they keep going during the timeouts and halftime with the chants and everything. They are really into the game. When you have a home game there you know you are at home.”

Iverson played in Turkey last season — at least when he wasn’t injured — because he couldn’t land a spot in the NBA. His skills are not what they once were and the vibe around the league (after he had been a locker room distraction in Memphis and Philadelphia the season before) was he was not worth the trouble.

Now Iverson sounds far more contrite, and he still wants a chance to play.

“I just want to do whatever an organization wants me to do,” Iverson said. “Everybody made a big thing about me not wanting to come off the bench, but I said that at that point because it never happened to me in my life and it was something new to me, and obviously I didn’t know how to handle it. But to be back on the biggest stage is my whole thing and I feel like I have a couple more years left in my career and I want to play. I sat through and watched the whole season and it was tough for me. Now I just try to do what I have to do to be physically and mentally able to get back on the stage.”

We’ll see after the lockout if a team is willing to take the chance. Either way, Iverson has left a mark on the league. Both as a player and as a cultural icon.

“I hope that my legacy is that I gave the fans what they wanted, somebody who played the game like it was his last,” Iverson reflected. “Someone who played hard every night and tried to give them their money’s worth.”

We’ll see if a team lets Iverson give the fans a few more thrills next season.

  1. connorchew - Jul 20, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    the heat would take this guy in a heart beat. theyre so desperate for talent that theres no question. he’d start the season on the bench, and come all star break he’d be starting again.

    • randysavage4ever - Jul 20, 2011 at 1:52 PM

      i like the way you think ^

      I dunno why but I was thinking A.I. to the Heat randomly the other day.

      • connorchew - Jul 20, 2011 at 2:29 PM

        haha in nba 2k i downloaded a.i, and always put him on the heat. * championship*

  2. therookie773 - Jul 20, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    I know how the NBA feels about ai, but y’all gotta let him finish in the league, not somewhere overseas.

    • goforthanddie - Jul 21, 2011 at 12:04 AM

      Like he’s entitled? He was in the NBA and had to go to Turkey to find a job. If he deserved an NBA spot, why did he have to go elsewhere? Because he doesn’t deserve squat?

  3. skids003 - Jul 20, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    Funny how these guys act like a**es, then can’t understand why nobody wants them.

    • dafool99 - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:07 PM

      he understands why they didn’t want him, he couldn’t accept it at that time.

  4. steelyres211 - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    But does he talk about… practice?

  5. mikefrommars - Jul 21, 2011 at 8:25 AM

    I think he would be a good fit with the Spurs. They need a PG to replace Hill and he could be had for cheap. Plus Pop won’t take his BS. Might need a coach like that to bring out his best.

  6. mox19380 - Jul 21, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    I’m from Philly and was always one of AI’s biggest supporters. Aside from going to a team like the Lakers, Heat, or Celts AI could be a problem for any team without an established hierarchy of players… I remember he said all the same things about just wanting a chance, willing to do whatever, and balling his eyes out when he signed with the Sixers… About a month later he simply vanished with a weak excuse about his daughter being sick only to find out that he’s club hoppin as usual.

    For whatever reason AI is a damaged soul (maybe it stems back to the Hampton bowling alley brawl) and I don’t think he has reformation in him… EG 24hours before this interview he was too hungover to show up at his own youth basketball camp

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. L. James (2067)
  2. D. Rose (1970)
  3. K. Bryant (1723)
  4. J. Smith (1616)
  5. K. Irving (1573)
  1. T. Thompson (1467)
  2. A. Davis (1433)
  3. T. Wroten (1382)
  4. J. Embiid (1311)
  5. F. Saunders (1270)