Kate Feagan of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the real reason Allen Iverson took his game halfway around the world, is because he’s spent the $154 million he made his NBA career.Allen Iverson is playing basketball far from the limelight, on a 2-year, $4 million contract in Istanbul. In a city of 13 million people, Iverson’s team – the Besiktas Cola Turka Black Eagles, hardly a European powerhouse – plays in a stadium that seats all of 3,500 people.
It’s quite a fall from grace for the 35-year-old former MVP accustomed to mesmerizing packed houses in the world’s top league.
But several sources say that Iverson, who made $154 million over a 15 year NBA career, in addition to a lucrative shoe deal with Reebok, is out of money.
Iverson denies it. He says if it was truly about the money he would have jumped at the chance to come off the bench in the NBA, rather than indignantly reject those offers.
While it’s certainly not unheard of for millionaire athletes to blow their fortunes, we actually believe Iverson here. He signed a “lifetime contract” to endorse Reebok that reportedly pays him seven-figures for many, many years. Then again, terms of the contract were undisclosed, so its possible it’s been voided.
Still, it’s a little bit depressing to see him and fellow class of 1996 scoring guard Stephon Marbury playing for C-list teams abroad. Both see themselves as ambassadors for the game – and perhaps Iverson is succeeding.
According to the Inquirer, Turkish newspapers are now covering Iverson after completing ignoring basketball in favour of soccer.
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