Allen Iverson had been spat on, cast off as rubbish and forgotten in the United States. After years of putting his body on the line, playing through injuries and doing things a player of his size had never done before, the guard was essentially blackballed from the NBA for having a bad attitude.
His career was over. He was done.
And then came a little offer from a third-tier basketball association. Some Turkish league that said they would give Iverson a chance. Most assumed he was just doing it for the money, however Iverson came out and said he was doing it because he loved basketball.
We at the The Daily Heat thought it was awful. Poor Iverson would become a sideshow freak overseas, capitalizing off his name value, all the while playing out his golden years in some half-filled Turkish arena while fans in the States would be left to remember him as the guy who couldn’t get it done.
Then, his plane touched down and he got this reception in Turkey. Maybe the fans and media down there would appreciate this guy the way he always deserved to be appreciated.
On Monday, that hope grew further when Iverson attended a Besiktas FC Turkish League soccer match against Kasimpasa. Upon notification that Iverson was in attendance, some 32,000 fans showered him with more love and appreciation than he ever received in Philadelphia.