NEW YORK (JTA) – Reports that retired NBA star Allen Iverson will play for Israel’s Maccabi Haifa basketball team in two upcoming exhibition games against NBA teams are false, a Maccabi representative told JTA.
“The local Israeli press completely made this up,” said Andrew Wilson, director of marketing for Triangle Financial Services, which is chaired by Maccabi Haifa owner Jeffrey Rosen. “We’ve had no contact with Allen Iverson so it’s a fabricated rumor.”
Rosen, who bought the team in 2007, was not available for comment.
Initial reports in the Israeli Sport5 website and later picked up by JTA said that Iverson, 37, will suit up for Haifa when it takes on the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves later this month in the United States. Sport5 had added that Maccabi Haifa officials were considering signing the perennial NBA All-Star guard to a longer contract if the experiment succeeded.
Haifa coach Brad Greenberg was part of the Philadelphia 76ers staff when Iverson starred for the team. Left without a team for this season, Iverson announced his retirement earlier this year. In 2011, Iverson played for the Turkish club Beshiktash. This year he declared bankruptcy.