Iverson has often been a controversial figure, dating back to his teenage years, including some troubles with the law.
1993: This incident was profiled on the television news magazine 60 Minutes due to claims of racial bias in the adjudication of the case. L. Douglas Wilder, at the time Governor of Virginia, became convinced that Iverson had been treated unfairly and controversially granted Iversonclemency, releasing him from his sentence. Iverson's conviction was later overturned on appeal.
1997: Iverson, along with his friends, was stopped by policemen for speeding late at night and was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon and for possession of marijuana. He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to community service.
2000: Iverson recorded a rap single named 40 Bars. However, after being criticized for its controversial lyrics, he eventually was unable to release it. Going under his moniker, "Jewelz", the album was alleged to have made derogatory remarks about homosexuals. After criticism from activist groups and NBA Commissioner David Stern, he agreed to change the lyrics, but ultimately never released the album.
2002: Iverson allegedly threw his wife Tawanna out of their mansion during a fight. The following night, an enraged Iverson later went looking for his wife at his cousin's apartment.
2004: During the latter part of the 2003–2004 season, Iverson bristled under the disciplinarian approach of the Sixers' new head coach Chris Ford. This led to a number of contentious incidents, including Iverson being suspended for missing practice, fined for failing to notify Ford that Iverson would not attend a game because he was sick, and refusing to play in game because he felt "insulted" that Ford wanted Iverson to come off the bench as he worked his way back from an injury.
On February 24, 2004, Iverson, a noted regular casino patron, was spotted at Bally's Park Place in Atlantic City urinating in a trash can in full view of staff and patrons. He was told by casino management not to return.
When the 2004 United States Olympic team gathered in Jacksonville, Florida for its first exhibition game, Iverson was late. He was suspended for the game.
2005: On December 9, 2005 after the Sixers defeated the Charlotte Bobcats, Iverson paid a late-night visit to the Trump Taj Mahal. After winning a hand at a three-card-stud poker table, Iverson was overpaid $10,000 in chips by a dealer. When the dealer quickly realized the mistake and requested the chips back, Iverson refused and a heated head-turning argument between him and casino staff began. Atlantic City casino regulations reportedly state that when a casino makes a payout mistake in favor of the gambler, he or she must return the money that they did not legitimately win by playing.
Also in 2005, Iverson's bodyguard Jason Kane was accused of assaulting a man at a Washington DC nightclub after the man, Marlin Godfrey, refused to leave the club's VIP section so Iverson's entourage could enter. Godfrey suffered a concussion, a ruptured eardrum, a burst blood vessel in his eye, a torn rotator cuff, cuts and bruises, and emotional injuries. Although Iverson did not touch Godfrey himself, Godfrey sued Iverson for the injuries caused by his bodyguard. In 2007 a jury awarded Godfrey $260,000. TheU.S. Court of Appeals upheld the verdict in 2009.
NBA Dress Code: In 2005, NBA commissioner David Stern banned what critics and supporters call "hip-hop culture"-related attire such as Mitchell & Ness brand throwback jerseys, baggy jeans, crooked baseball caps, do-rags, knee-length t-shirts, large items of jewelry, and Timberland boots. Punishment for violations would include fines and possible suspensions for repeat violations.Iverson harshly criticized Stern's dress code, saying that it "would not change a person's character regardless of what type of clothing they wore", and that "associating hip-hop styles of dress with violent crime, drugs, or a bad image is racist." Iverson also said that the advertising of many prominent NBA sponsors, such as Nike, Reebok, Puma and Adidas were heavily influenced by hip-hop culture.
2007: Iverson was fined $25,000 by the NBA for criticizing referee Steve Javie following a game between the Nuggets and Iverson's former team, the Philadelphia 76ers, played January 2, 2007. During the course of the game, Iverson committed two technical fouls and was ejected from the game. After the game, Iverson said, "I thought I got fouled on that play, and I said I thought that he was calling the game personal I should have known that I couldn't say anything anyway. It's been something personal with me and him since I got in the league. This was just the perfect game for him to try and make me look bad."