Breaking Down the Ersan Ilyasova Birther Conspiracy I Just Learned About

Jim Adair - February 9, 2017

Photo Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

When discussing the possibility of the Sixers re-signing Ersan Ilyasova in the offseason, one might bring up his age. At 29, he’s in the prime of his career but perhaps “old” as it relates to the Sixers’ timetable. He could easily be productive for 3-4 more years and help the Sixers out with floor spacing, if they decide he’s worth re-signing. But what if he’s actually 32? What if he’s not actually from Turkey? What if his name isn’t even Ersan?

As I often do, I was sitting here thinking about Sixers’ prospect Furkan Korkmaz, a Turkish 19-year-old currently playing overseas. As Ilyasova is also Turkish, I found a picture of the two of them together and made a dumb tweet:

Then, I was alerted by @IgglesHQ to a decade-plus old conspiracy theory about Ilyasova’s home country, age, and name. r/Sixers talked about it at the end of last year. I had never heard it. Here’s the basic breakdown:

Back in 2002, a man named Arsen Ilyasov – born in 1984 – came to Turkey from his home in Uzbekistan. He was never heard from again. However, a month later, “a man named Semsettin Bulut told the Turkish authorities that he had forgotten to register his 15-year-old son, and so he registered him as Ersan Ilyasova.” “Forgetten to register,” by the way, means forgot to register his birth. So 15 years is late, but better late than never, right? At the time, Turkish authorities investigated and found there was no record of an Ersan Ilyasova, born in 1987, in their files.

A year later, the Uzbekistan Basketball Federation sent a letter of protest to FIBA claiming that as an Uzbekistani named Arsen Ilyasov, “Ersan Ilyasova” wasn’t a legal Turkish citizen and should have been disqualified from playing in the European Championship and the Turkish Junior Champonship due to his falsified age. An Uzbekistani newspaper claimed to have paperwork verifying the immigration of Arsen, and the registration of a 15-year-old Ersan. They were not able to definitively prove that Ilyasov and Ilyasova were the same person or different people.

After investigating, FIBA sided with the Turkey and confirmed Ilyasova’s Turkish status.

Ersan Ilyasova? Arsen Ilyasov? If we’re not sure, I guess we should just call him “The Professional.”

17 Comments

  • Badger February 9, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Free John bolaris!!!!

    Reply
    • SIXERS WON'T WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP......AGAIN! February 9, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      WHO GIVES A FUCK ABOUT THE SHITTY FUCKING SIXERS!
      WINNING A CHAMPIONSHIPS IS ALL THAT MATTERS!
      AND THEY WON’T WIN ONE BECAUSE THEY SUCK AND ARE POORLY MANAGED AND HAVE
      A SHITTY FRONT OFFICE!
      FUCK BASKETBALL!

      ALL YOU LAME ASS FUCKS WHO ARE OKAY WITH WINNING LESS THAN A CHAMPIONSHIP CAN
      GO BACK TO BEING COWBOYS FANS or GO WATCH SOCCER!
      LAME ASS PRICKS!

      Reply
      • john July 2, 2017 at 1:50 pm

        i agree and i am a sixers fan myself

        Reply
    • Ron Burgundy February 9, 2017 at 3:35 pm

      Who cares about his age???? The conspiracy you need to solve is that he has a 9 inch c0ck. Can you confirm??

      Reply
  • Al moronganti February 9, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Huh?

    Reply
  • Jim - are you still making fun of how black people speak? February 9, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Fuck you, Jim. Seriously. You are fucking revolting.

    Reply
    • D'Swede from Waynesborough February 9, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      True dat.

      Reply
  • TTP February 9, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    If anyone has ever seen an Uzbek, he def looks like one. I just assumed he was of Uzbek decent and born in Turkey

    Reply
  • Greg Bacher February 9, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Hockley fans are the worst

    Reply
    • Tim "Asshole" Panaccio February 9, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      Who is “Hockley”?

      Reply
  • Really? February 9, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Ed…he’s a ref in the NFL

    Reply
    • Tim "Asshole" Panaccio February 9, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      Ah, yes.

      Reply
  • Ersan arnie February 9, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    ???

    Reply
  • GoFundMe Campaign to Feed Molly Sullivan February 9, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    If CSN / Sixers continue to refuse to feed her, maybe it is time for an intervention from us fans.

    Honestly, Molly Sullivan looks like a living skeleton right now. And no one seems to care.

    Reply
    • ? February 9, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      Hearing that she’s had an eating disorder ever since Josh Harris and Bryan colangelo Eiffel towered her.
      Jim knows but

      Reply
    • Bill Vargas February 9, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      Better than looking like Sue Serio

      Reply
  • Gus From Allentown February 9, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    A friend of my podiatrist whose in the know said Amy Fadool has been on a strict diet since BOB got canceled. She thinks Jillian might become a threat to her anchor job.

    Reply
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