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Byline: Phil Jasner
NEW YORK _ What started out as Allen Iverson's private hell has become the NBA's nightmare.
Which is why commissioner David Stern decided it was more than time, you should pardon the expression, to rap about it with 76ers star Allen Iverson.
They did exactly that Thursday, at Stern's invitation, in the league's Olympic Tower offices. The crux of the meeting is that Stern could have done so much more.
He could have fined or suspended Iverson for "40 Bars," his recently released expletive-laden, gay bashing, female bashing, violence-strewn song from the forthcoming "Non-Fiction" CD.
But as much as Stern criticized Iverson for the song, the commissioner went no further.
"The NBA is a private organization," Stern said in a statement issued by the league's public relations department before he caught a flight to Ottawa. "Whatever rights of free speech an individual may have, there is no constitutional right to participate in the NBA, and I have the power, under the collective bargaining agreement, to disqualify players who engage in offensive conduct - including inappropriate speech."
Once it became clear Stern did not intend to use that …