Allen Iverson is perhaps the most high-profile basketball player to ditch the NBA for a team overseas, but he’s not the first. Mr. Iverson on Friday signed a $4 million, two-year contract with Turkey’s Besiktas Cola Turka basketball team.
Click through the following slides to read about five of the most notable basketball stars who have left the NBA in recent years to play abroad.
1. Allen Iverson in Turkey
“As far as I know, Allen is the first and greatest player to have a career in the NBA and come to Europe to play in Turkey,” Yildirim Demiroren, the owner of Besiktas Cola Turka basketball team, said Friday. The NBA Rookie of the Year in the 1996-97 season and an 11-time NBA All-Star, Mr. Iverson is known for his flash on and off the court, repeatedly falling into trouble with his coaches and the law.
His new fans in Turkey will expect points from the controversial player. Iverson was the league’s highest scorer in the 1998-99, 2000-01, 2001-02, and 2004-05 seasons.
“I had a great time playing in the NBA. Who knows if I ever will again?” Iverson said, according to the Boston Herald. “But I wanted to show everybody I can play at a high level, not just the NBA.”