July 07, 2019
Philadelphia 76ers legend Allen Iverson lent a hand in helping hip-hop star Meek Mill overcome the legal trouble that landed him back in jail two years ago, according to a story shared by Sixers limited partner Michael Rubin.
Meek Mill was incarcerated in 2017 after violating parole in connection with a 2008 gun and drug conviction for which he maintains his innocence. Philadelphia judge Jenice Brinkley, who handled the case, came under intense scrutiny for what appeared to be biased treatment of the homegrown rapper.
Rubin, a friend of Meek Mill's, characterized Brinkley's approach to the 32-year-old rapper as a vendetta, claiming the judge was "obsessed with trying to control every aspect of his life."
As Meek Mill appealed his two-to-four-year prison sentence, Rubin contacted Iverson for help with the case. Another Philadelphia family who allegedly had a negative experience with Brinkley was sought out to shine light on her record as a judge. Rubin said the head of the family was a huge fan of Iverson's, so he called the Hall of Famer to have him talk to the family and enlist their help.
Rubin told the story in an interview on New York City radio station Hot 97.
"Everyone was scared of the judge," Rubin said. "So here's a family — a not well-off family — who had been tortured by this judge ... I called Allen and said I need you to help me get these people comfortable to talk to me. And Allen called and spent 20 minutes on the phone with them because he wanted to help Meek and help the situation."
Iverson was ensnared in a serious legal dilemma in 1993, when he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his alleged involvement in a brawl at a bowling alley during his junior year of high school. Iverson ultimately served just four months behind bars after he appealed the case citing insufficient evidence.
Meek Mill was released from prison in April 2018 and was immediately welcomed into the Sixers locker room. He and Rubin later co-founded The REFORM Alliance to advocate for equality in the criminal justice system.
In June, Meek Mill was officially granted a retrial with a different judge as he seeks to vacate the 2008 conviction.
Since returning the public spotlight, Meek Mill has released the critically acclaimed album "Championships" and has become a vocal figure in support of remedies for mass incarceration in the United States.