Allen Iverson arrived in Turkey today, greeted by a group of fans chanting fight songs and a throng of media.
Iverson, wearing a Phillies hat and the jersey of his new team, Besiktas, is scheduled to make his debut Saturday after agreeing to a 2-year, $4 million contract.
Iverson was scheduled to arrive Saturday and be honored before the team's game. That was postponed when Iverson missed his flight because the team said he had additional preparations to make before departing.
Besiktas said a light and music show to welcome Iverson will take place on Tuesday.
Iverson joins American guard Mire Chatman and Australian center A.J. Ogilvy on the Besiktas squad. The rest of the team is made up of players from Turkey, Russia and other Eastern European nations.
Here is what Iverson told NTV sports channel:
On fans at his arrival: "They were great. that is the most important thing to be accepted and wanted and appreciated. It was a good feeling to see them come and support me. That's exciting me more and more to get done what I want to get done and that is winning basketball games."
What can we expect? "Just excitement for the fans. Hopefully they will come out and support our team and watch me play. This is the best opportunity is to come out here and give them something they have never seen before. They obviously have seen a little bit of me playing in the NBA, but they get a chance to see a lot more of me."
Have you hard about how into the game the Turkish fans are? "That's one of the greatest feeling about sports and being an athetle is you get the chance to interact with the fans. How much they participate makes it more better and exciting for us. The more excitement they have, the more it will excite me and give me the energy to play hard."
Have you had a chance to learn Turkish? "No, not yet. I'm going to be around my teammates a lot and I'll interact with the fans as much as possible. I bet before I leave here I'm going to speak Turkish."