Misunderstood Allen Iverson Skips Hip-Hop For Hoops

Philadelphia 76er won't release debut album originally scheduled for February release.

One of basketball's best is withdrawing from the game.

No, this isn't another chapter in the Michael Jordan saga.

We're talking about fellow highlight-reel all-star Allen Iverson, who announced Monday that he's leaving hip-hop.

The Philadelphia 76er star will not release his debut album, Misunderstood, because controversy surrounding his lyrics has spoiled the excitement of crossing over to music for him, his spokesperson at Universal Records said.

Iverson was first criticized for his violent raps a year ago, when a Philadelphia radio station began playing an edited version of the song "40 Bars." The unedited version includes references to gun violence and the line "Come to me with those faggot tendencies and you'll be sleeping where the maggots be."

Both NBA commissioner David Stern and the Martin Luther King Jr. Association for Nonviolence condemned Iverson for the song (see "Hoopster Iverson Agrees To Change Rap Lyrics").

"The lyrics that have been attributed to Allen Iverson's soon-to-be-released rap CD are coarse, offensive and antisocial," Stern said at the time.

Iverson said he would change some of the lyrics on the album, previously titled Non-Fiction and intended for February 2000 release, though the basketball season kept him out of the studio through winter and spring.