Allen Iverson retired from the NBA over a decade ago in 2010, but certain mistakes he made during his tenure are still on his mind. The 47-year-old recently reflected on his rap career and how his debut album caused tension with the late, former NBA Commissioner David Stern while he was a member of the Philadelphia 76ers.
“It wasn’t a great relationship when I did that terrible rap album,” the 11-time All-Star said about his shelved LP Misunderstood during a Dec. 1 episode of Kevin Hart’s Cold As Balls. “When I did that bullsh*t, that’s when I had a problem with David Stern.”
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Misunderstood was set to be the Hampton, Va. native’s official splash into the music game under his moniker “Jewelz.” However, the project generated controversy before ever being released due to the lead single “40 Bars” being labeled sexist and homophobic. A.I. recounted sitting in David Stern’s office and having the commissioner read his lyrics back to him.
“I remember going into the office, and he was reading my lyrics, Kev. Like, David Stern was actually reading ‘40 Bars‘ off a piece of paper, and me and (Sixers star) Theo Ratliff — I was trying not to laugh, because I knew how serious it was. And the sh*t I was saying, obviously, you know … So to hear David Stern rapping it, it was crazy. It was embarrassing.”
The comedian pointed out how Iverson’s album was set to have a lot of features, but the 2001 NBA MVP felt that he was led astray by those around him. “A lot of people tell you what you wanna hear, as opposed to what you need to hear. And I dealt with that.”
Elsewhere in the interview, the 76ers legend spoke on other controversies related to his tattoos and fashion choices while he played in the NBA. Check out the full episode of Cold As Balls above.