Two days ago, Allen Iverson finally broke his silence from the media in Turkey. It was Philadelphia Magazine that cracked Iverson’s no-media embargo. He was asked about many topics ranging from whether he was playing in Turkey because he is broke from gambling debts and bad investments to why he thought he was not in the NBA.
Here’s some quotes from the man himself:
“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 Y.M.C.A.?” Iverson said. “I had to do what I had to do to continue playing basketball.”
It’s true, for the fans it’s a lot better to have A.I. playing than not. He did what he had to do to continue his career.
He blamed rumors about his gambling for leading to his exit from the Detroit Pistons in 2009. The Detroit News ran a blog post charging that Iverson had been banned from Detroit’s three casinos, then removed it from its site and archives.
Iverson said he thought the word was put out in the N.B.A., through the Pistons’ front office, that he was trouble.
“I think that situation basically destroyed my N.B.A. career,” he said. “I honestly believe that.”
Gambling and drinking rumors have followed Iverson, and he said he did not know why.
“You find out when dealing with people that doesn’t have nowhere near as much money as you, that a lot of people who don’t have that money and can’t fathom it, would never understand,” Iverson said. “If I had that much to lose and I know it, then it’s not a problem for me.”
Iverson continued: “I don’t remember getting any D.U.I.s or going to jail for getting drunk in public. I’ve never been reprimanded or anything, with any team or anything like that, because of any drinking.”
Iverson’s family, which includes five children and wife, Tawanna, which whom he has recently reconciled, is expected to move to Istanbul soon. Tawanna had filed for divorce last spring, but Iverson said the couple was trying to save their marriage.
Allen Iverson’s old teammate Eric Snow says he knows Iverson wants to get back to the NBA. But Iverson says no. He’s done that, had his career there. He’s in a new place now, a city and country that have embraced him. There are millions more fans out there, all over Europe, that he can play for. And that’s what he intends to do, because the truth is, Allen Iverson has nowhere else to go.