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Strange as it still is to see Iverson in his Memphis (or Denver or Detroit) jersey, it'll be stranger to see him playing in Turkey this season. But it almost didn't happen, thanks to AI's admission that he just can't control himself.

Yahoo Sports is reporting that Iverson is thisclose to signing with Turkish side Beşiktaş, but the fact that negotiations have been so drawn out should be an indicator that he's not doing it for the love of the game. You'd think that after so many years and so many millions, he wouldn't need the money, but certain NBA stars have a way of needing the money.


There was the sick child. Then the divorce. Then the whispers of alcohol and gambling problems.

So let's assume that the agreed-upon $1.5 million base salary that Beşiktaş is offering Iverson is cash he needs. That's why it's so mindblowing that he would hold up the deal over something so minor as potential fines. Iverson reportedly would not agree to any contract that didn't include an unusual clause barring the team from fining him more than 1 percent of his salary.

That's his sticking point? For a normal player, haggling might focus on more guaranteed money, or perhaps making the bonuses easier to achieve. But not Iverson: his chief concern is limiting how much they can take away from him if he screws up. When he screws up.


Fined and suspended multiple times in Philly for missing games, leaving practice, skipping corporate events. Fined for criticizing refs in Denver. Booted for refusing to be a bench player in Detroit, and again in Memphis.

Credit goes to Iverson for not playing the victim card; he either knows or fears that wherever he plays, no matter the team or league or country, he's going to get into trouble. Trying to limit what he can be fined is him sending a message to Beşiktaş, and admitting to himself, that he's not about to change who he is.


It doesn't look like he'll get that language put into his contract. For someone who's going as far as Turkey to continue making his living, it'll be interesting to see if Iverson can protect his checkbook by keeping himself in check.

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