From the What A Difference A Year Makes Department, word is spreading that a European team is courting the still-unemployed Allen Iverson – except with a significant comedown in both prestige and pay from last year’s ballyhooed offer from Olympiacos.
The suitor this year would be Beşiktaş Cola Turka, a Eurocup contender, at a rate of $2 million for one season: all in all, quite a far cry from playing in Greece at the rumored Josh Childress-level wages.
Beşiktaş head coach Burak Biyiktay is understandably pleased as punch at the prospect of landing The Answer, quoted as stating in Turkish media that Iverson brings “a brand that’s really important. He has been a formidable player, leading the NBA in scoring four times. [Signing] Iverson would bring in some serious cash. Rather than lose him, we want to use him on the court … Iverson [could] bring a lot to Turkey and would be a great success. I think he will make a formidable duo with [Mire Dejuan] Chatman.”
Long-time European veteran Chatman is entering his third season with Beşiktaş, last year finishing in the top three in the Turkish Basketball League in scoring, assists and steals.
According to Yahoo, “One stumbling block to an agreement over the weekend was Iverson’s reluctance to let Besiktas fine him beyond 1 percent of his $1.5 million base salary,” actually something of a prudent move on the Turkish team’s part, as one does have some difficulty imagining this union will work throughout the TBL and/or Eurocup seasons.
Yahoo also notes that Lonnie Baxter has brought a suit against Beşiktaş for non-payment of salary.