Last week Philadelphia Magazine ran a piece detailing the new life of former NBA superstar Allen Iverson as he attempts to resurrect his basketball career in Turkey. In the work, writer Robert Huber details his journey to the foreign country to meet with AI. While there he finds striking parallels and differences between Iverson’s new life and the one he left behind. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering how Iverson’s doing over there or if you’d like an inside glimpse of what life used to be like for AI, this is a must read. It leaves you wondering whether a player like Iverson was meant to burn out or fade away. From Philadelphia Magazine:
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:
That’s where Iverson lands every night, for all of his first week in Istanbul.
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.
I tell her about Iverson’s nightlife in America — how he used to go to a Friday’s on City Avenue all the time, and when things got a little chaotic there, when it was no longer so cool for Iverson to drink 40s out of a bag, leaning against his Bentley parked in a handicapped spot, he slipped across the street to Houlihan’s. He would show up with two or three or five guys, sometimes popping in around midnight after a game, drink Coronas, play poker with his boys at the bar. And the women would show up. They would line a low wall behind him. A half-dozen. Ten. Twelve. Fifteen. They would preen and wait. Finally, Iverson would nod to one of his posse, and his guy would go over to the one in the line he wanted and tell her to join them. She’d have a drink with Iverson. In a little while, he would leave. And then she would, a moment later.
I tell the woman at Club Reina all this because I’m wondering if Iverson might have women at his beck and call here. Would they be so aggressive?
She smiles. “We would be … what is the word? … more discreet.”
“Turkish women wouldn’t line up like that?”
“But sex is … ”
She smiles again — a different smile — the prettiest girl in the hottest club. Istanbul is a big, busy, cosmopolitan city, and Allen Iverson won’t be merely playing cards and drinking Coronas at the Istanbul Friday’s while trying to resurrect his basketball career. Unless he’s a changed man.
Great stuff. Do yourself a favor and go read the full story.