Turkish side Besiktas sign former NBA MVP Allen Iverson

NEW YORK Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:07am EDT

Former NBA player Allen Iverson smiles while announcing his move to the Turkish basketball team Besiktas during a press conference in New York October 29, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Former NBA player Allen Iverson smiles while announcing his move to the Turkish basketball team Besiktas during a press conference in New York October 29, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Eleven-times NBA All-Star guard Allen Iverson signed a two-year contract with Turkish club Besiktas on Friday.

Iverson played 25 games with the Philadelphia 76ers last season averaging 13.9 points but was unable to secure an offer from an NBA team this season.

"I'm at the point in my career where mentally and physically I know I can play basketball and that's what I want to do. If I can't play in the NBA, but I want to play basketball, that's a decision I have to make," Iverson told reporters in New York.

"My whole thing was being wanted and being accepted by a ball club. That was the most important thing to me: to be wanted."

The deal is set to earn Iverson, who is 17th on the NBA's career scoring list with 24,368 points and winner of the MVP award in 2001 when he led the Sixers to the finals, $4 million.

Iverson, 35, enjoyed his best years with Philadelphia but also had spells with the Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies.

Iverson, 35, should make his debut for Besiktas on November 20.

"It's the fact that I want to play and contribute what I can give to a basketball team," Iverson said.

(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario. Editing by Patrick Johnston)

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