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Nov
1

Free Marcus! Cyprus-bound American player denied exit from Qatar

So you thought Romain Sato having to spend 24 hours cooling his heels in a Ljubljana airport was serious stuff? Just imagine the same situation, except with the additional headache of not being paid for your services as a basketball player. For nearly two months. In Qatar.

That’s the incredible situation facing former Mississippi State University Bulldog and international journeyman Marcus Campbell this morning.

(Well, okay, maybe not quite as incredible as the headline “Marcus Campbell held hostage in Qatar!” might lead you to believe, but a twisted ballooning of all the worst practices in contract management we’ve seen in Europe through the years nonetheless.)

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Sep
1

Movie Review: The Iran Job (or The Fish-Out-of-Water that Saved Shiraz)

Okay, so not even FIBA considers Iran part of The Continent, but BallinEurope today would nevertheless like to pass on a recommendation of a great basketball movie to watch out for. Entitled The Iran Job, the documentary follows U.S. Virgin Islands player Kevin Sheppard, a self-described journeyman with tours in China, Brazil, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Argentina to his credit, as he embarks on a season in the mysterious Middle Eastern nation.

As it turns out, Sheppard’s in Iran for not just any season, but that slate of games set in 2008-09 – significant calendar years for both his native USA and his country of residence. And as it turns out, The Iran Job is no typical American fish-out-of-water basketball story.

Just the word “Iran” is a hot-button issue in the ‘States (and, apparently, its protectorates); knowing the concept behind the film, reading the title alone takes us one step into Sheppard’s world. Upon announcing his professional plans, his mother is scared. His girlfriend is shocked. And it’s all set against a pastiche of George W. Bush’s “axis of evil” taunts and Hillary Clinton’s “we would destroy Iran” demagoguery.

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