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Allen Iverson arrives in Turkey to begin new phase of his career

November 8, 2010 | 10:33 am

Iverson_400 Dozens of basketball fans gathered at Ataturk Airport to greet 11-time NBA all-star Allen Iverson, who arrived in Istanbul, Turkey, on Monday to join his new team, Besiktas.

Iverson wore a Besiktas jersey and a Philadelphia Phillies cap and waved to the fans from inside his car.

“They were great,” Iverson told NTV sports channel of the fans, adding that “the most important thing is to be accepted, to be wanted and to be appreciated.”

After getting no offers from NBA teams during the off-season, Iverson has called his $4-million, two-year deal with the Turkish club “a chance to get back on track with my basketball career.”

Iverson's debut with Besiktas is expected to be a Saturday home game against Oyak Renault in an arena that seats about 4,500. He urged fans to come out and also said he would be “interacting” with fans as much as possible.

“Before I leave, I'll be speaking a lot of Turkish,” he said.

 -- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Allen Iverson is surrounded by cheering supporters of Besiktas at Ataturk Airport on Monday. Credit: Ibrahim Usta / Associated Press