Allen Iverson: Fallen Star

With his NBA career over, his marriage in trouble, and rumors swirling about drinking and money problems, the greatest Sixer of his era finds himself playing minor-league basketball in Turkey and spending his nights at a T.G.I. Friday’s in Istanbul. Isn’t it, weirdly, exactly how we always thought it would end for Allen Iverson?

I’m operating on extreme hope. I am in Instanbul All I know is that Allen Iverson 
is here — in this city of 13 million, with one foot in Asia and one in Europe — to play basketball. His manager keeps saying no, that Allen won’t talk to me. So I ask the concierge in my hotel: If you’re Allen Iverson — the greatest thing to ever hit Turkish basketball — where do you go to meet women?

“Reina,” he tells me. “Yes, Club Reina — on the Bosphorus.”

Reina is a place with a metal detector at the entrance, and chandeliers and fireplaces and lighted floors and a DJ and lovely people on the inside. You can walk out onto a pier to check out the lapping Bosphorus River, which connects the Black and Mediterranean seas, and gaze up at the Asian moon, and sip drinks for 20 lira.

I go up to a young woman in a tank top and impossibly tight jeans and three-inch shiny black heels, who’s having a drink with another woman and a man. She is dark and beautiful. I ask her if she speaks English. Yes. I tell her I’m in Istanbul to write about Allen Iverson. She smiles a bit of a devilish smile.

“I met him last night.”

The hottest girl in the hottest club, 24 years old. Allen Iverson has already met her. She’s a dead ringer for the character Sloan in Entourage — the same prettiness and almost over-the-top sexiness coupled with sweetness and, I quickly find out, smarts.

Along with her friend, the silent Turk to my right, she went to Iverson’s first game in Istanbul the night before, in a home arena so tiny — it seats 3,200 — she could easily find Iverson’s manager, Gary Moore, and tell him how she studied at Georgetown. Iverson’s school! So Moore naturally invited her to join Iverson and his crew at their post-game haunt, the place where he’s been hanging out with his slightly downsized America-to-Istanbul posse, in this lovely ancient city:
T.G.I. Friday’s.

That’s where Iverson lands every night, for all of his first week in Istanbul.

Friday’s.

Of course she went, and spent a couple of hours. She found Iverson kind of cold. He said hello, but that was about it. He played cards. He drank Corona. She ended up talking to Moore. Clearly she wanted a little more than that.

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  • Christopher

    You say Friday’s like you’re surprised. It’s no secret Friday’s & Houlihan’s were always his favorites in Philly.

  • Christopher

    Missed the page where Friday’s & Houlihan’s were mentioned. Sorry!

  • Steve

    He made $200 million and has to play in Turkey? That’s just idiocy – dumb- stupid – screwed up — and it appears he will be forever. I hope you never publish another Iverson story. Glad I would not let my child wear his jersey.

  • a

    No clue why you are bashing him for playing in Turkey. Turkey is a very nice and friendly city. The purpose of him playing is not cause he is broke but because he wants still to play and for a place that wants him. It’s a smart move on his part.

  • Kid

    This loser has gone from “The Answer” to “The Turkey”

  • Emre

    My american friends, even you don’t know the rest of the world, you still comment about it. Do you know that Turkey played for gold medal vs USA in the World Cup? If you do, you wouldn’t be sarcastic about this beautiful country or its basketball quality. I know that NBA is the best and we watch almost every game of Hedo Turkoglu and Mehmet Okur. But sadly, you don’t even know them, right? Iverson is playing in Istanbul cause we love this game and watching its talents. One thing about the author, you went to Istanbul, you don’t even know that Bosphorus is not a river, it’s a strait, like Bering. And Iverson is not the greatest thing for Turkish Basketball, it’s our NBA players and our second place in the world and europe cup. So please, make some research before writing something and don’t be ignorant about the rest of the world.

  • Emre

    My american friends, even you don’t know the rest of the world, you still comment about it. Do you know that Turkey played for gold medal vs USA in the World Cup? If you do, you wouldn’t be sarcastic about this beautiful country or its basketball quality. I know that NBA is the best and we watch almost every game of Hedo Turkoglu and Mehmet Okur. But sadly, you don’t even know them, right? Iverson is playing in Istanbul cause we love this game and watching its talents. One thing about the author, you went to Istanbul, you don’t even know that Bosphorus is not a river, it’s a strait, like Bering. And Iverson is not the greatest thing for Turkish Basketball, it’s our NBA players and our second place in the world and europe cup. So please, make some research before writing something and don’t be ignorant about the rest of the world.

  • ben

    a man from philly can get lost in istanbul easy, besiktas is level of a middling division college team, it competes in a league which are competitive in euroleauge, go kiss your selfself

  • Mike

    Dude, do your research. First the Turkish Beko League is anything but “middling”. Too, Turkish teams that play in the Euroleague obviously play in the Turkish league.

    So if the Turkish league is

  • Mike

    Dude, do your research. First the Turkish Beko League is anything but “middling”. Too, Turkish teams that play in the Euroleague obviously play in the Turkish league.

    So if the Turkish league is

  • Mike

    Dude, do your research. First the Turkish Beko League is anything but “middling”. Too, Turkish teams that play in the Euroleague obviously play in the Turkish league.

    So if the Turkish league is

  • Mike

    Dude, do your research. First the Turkish Beko League is anything but “middling”. Too, Turkish teams that play in the Euroleague obviously play in the Turkish league.

    So if the Turkish league is

  • Mike

    Dude, do your research. First the Turkish Beko League is anything but “middling”. Too, Turkish teams that play in the Euroleague obviously play in the Turkish league.

    So if the Turkish league is

  • Mike

    awful and the Euroleague so great why are two Turkish teams playing in both leagues? ( Efes and Fenerbahce)

    You need to do your homework dude. This was a piece written with good intentions yet lac