So Allen Iverson acquitted himself reasonably (though nowhere near perfectly) well in his debut match for Beşiktaş Cola Turka; to riff on the old cliché, however, today is the first day in the rest of Mr. Answer’s European career.
In Türkiye Basketbol Ligleri play today, A.I. and the Eagles today draw none other than defending champions Fenerbahçe Ülker. Going back to last season’s TBL championship tournament, Fenerbahçe is enjoying a 19-3 run against Turkish and Euroleague teams; until Wednesday, the champions were the sole remaining undefeated team in the big league as well.
As it stands, Beşiktaş is a respectable 3-2 through five TBL games; on points, the record ranks them at no. 10 but an upset today would put the Eagles as high as fourth on the table.
Facing off against Iverson and (hopefully for their sakes) his new best buddy Mire Dejuan Chatman in the opposition backcourt will be the Croatian twosome of Roko Ukic and Marko Tomas. Within the framework of the Iversonian universe, Philadelphia native Lynn Greer comes off the bench for Fenerbahçe; in the 2006-07 Greer’s Milwaukee Bucks twice played Iverson’s Denver Nuggets, but the former saw 44 seconds of action in the first meeting while the latter was injured for the second.
More troublesome for Beşiktaş than the prospect of Fenerbahçe’s youngblood pair running A.I. ragged – and they will certainly try to open the floor constantly – is the battle for the boards.
Figuring Darjus Lavrinovic works Cevher Ozer underneath early and often, the Eagles will seemingly be looking to A.J. Ogilvy again. No one’s really expecting another 20/12 performance out of the big Aussie, but Beşiktaş fans have got to be excited about the prospect of a big-bodied dude good for a double-double nearly every game; particularly if he can stake out the good position for the inevitable Chatman/Iverson launches as expertly as he managed in the Hemofarm game.
Tuesday night will see Beşiktaş travel to Göttingen for game two of its 2010-11 Eurocup season. In a nice case of serendipity for the home team’s gate, heinnews is reporting that “A planning conflict moved the game from [BG Göttingen’s] 3,700-seat Lokhalle – a former centenary locomotive repair warehouse – to the 6,600-seat Volkswagen Halle in Braunschweig located 110 kilometers away.” This court typically serves as home venue for Bundesliga squad New Yorker Phantoms.
Göttingen general manager Marc Franz explained that “We do not really want to leave our home gym, but the situation is what it is and we want to make the best of it that we can. I can only try to motivate everyone to support the team in Braunschweig.”
As of Friday, heinnews was able to report that just about 3,000 tickets had been sold for the Göttingen-Beşiktaş game already; Göttingen spokesman Björn-Lars Blank reckoned at least 4,000 would be in attendance Tuesday night.