Allen Iverson to visit Manila in November, says agent
MANILA, Philippines - The Answer, Allen Iverson, is officially coming to Manila.
This development was confirmed by the former NBA MVP's sports agent in Asia, Sheryl Reyes, who shared the news in an exclusive interview with Rappler on Saturday afternoon, July 26, at Heroes, Bonifacio High Street in Taguig City during the launch of former NBA star Stephon Marbury's Jersey for a Cause project.
According to the sports agent, Iverson will visit in November for his new job - coaching - which she says the Philadelphia 76ers have been grooming him for.
“Allen, really, for this particular event, we're introducing him as a coach.”
It's a new job the former NBA superstar has been carrying out for quite some time now.
"It's what he wants and he has a couple of schedules right now for basketball clinics. He's doing clinics for kids," said Reyes, who added “that's already the direction he's (Iverson) going to so we want to support him."
Iverson was the top pick in the 1996 NBA Draft and went on to have one of the most polarizing careers in league history because of his performance on the hardwood and the way he affected pop and rap culture with his outfits and personality off the court.
Though the twilight of his career did not end gracefully, Iverson still has many fans around the world who remember what he accomplished, the Philippines included.
Iverson was supposed to come to Manila some time ago to help out the victims of Typhoon Yolanda, Reyes said. However, his trip was cancelled because of his jersey retirement ceremony during a 76ers game on March 1, 2014.
About a year and a half later, Iverson will finally make his trip to a place that has become a hotbed for NBA personalities in recent memory.
"I courted him to come for three years and finally, it's happening," laughed Reyes.
But Iverson won't be coming alone. Reyes plans on bringing other players as well, some of whom used to play in the NBA.
"I'm also bringing in And1 - they're now called Ball Up. It's only six of them I'm bringing in and I have surprise ex-NBA guys."
One of them, like Iverson years ago, used to be one of the most popular basketball players in the world.
"I'm 90 percent close to sealing the deal with Steve Francis. He's going to come and play."
Francis, the number two pick in the 1999 NBA Draft, played for 11 years and was voted to the NBA Western Conference All-Star team three times by hoops fans across the globe from 2002-2004.
Iverson and Francis both spent a lot of games during their primes going up against another former great NBA in Marbury, who's also represented by Reyes.
During the launch of his project earlier, Marbury indicated that he plans on investing in a home in Manila, as he sees more upcoming visits ahead in the future for his different charities and projects.
"Even if he doesn't have a place, it's part of our schedule that he comes here. Most of his projects are actually also focused on Manila," Reyes noted about Marbury, who said he already considers Manila as home.
And she is hopeful Iverson will feel the same way soon as well.
"He's very excited. He's so excited," The Answer said of his impending trip, according to the sports agent. "I am confident (that he will appreciate Manila) and he has an open mind. He knows. He already has a feeling. He knows what he answered to."
Reyes is also hoping that while he's here, Iverson could spend some time with Gilas Pilipinas, the Philippines' men's national basketball team, even with potential conflict in schedules.
"I did ask Aboy Castro (Gilas Pilipinas team manager) about inviting Gilas to play, but then that's already when the PBA starts."
"But, yeah, it's not impossible."
At least this much is certain: The Answer is coming to Manila. - Rappler.com