FIBA World Cup preview – Group A

We’re going group by group with our preview of what you need to know to enjoy the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball.

The teams:
Qualified: One of four wild cards in the tournament, Brazil had a nightmare Tournament of the Americas…mainly because they knew they were getting a wild card so didn’t send a strong team to Venezuela.

Qualified: Silver medal winners at FIBA Africa Championships, this is Egypt’s sixth appearance at a World Championship or World Cup.

Qualified: Winners of EuroBasket 2013, France finally got over the Gasol shaped hump last autumn.

Qualified: Winners of the FIBA Asia Championships, Iran will be playing in their second World Cup after going 1-4 in group play in 2010.

Qualified: Serbia took the last automatic qualification place at EuroBasket with a 7th place finish, Serbia finished fourth at the 2010 tournament.

Qualified: As hosts Spain qualified automatically but they also got the third spot at EuroBasket 2013.
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Basketball World Cup of Beer – Group A

BWCB Opening Ceremony
It’s time for the first round of the 2014 Basketball World Cup of Beer. The format is simple, every nation in the FIBA World Cup is represented by a beer, most of which have been selected by you the BiE faithful. We’re running each of these beers off in a tournament to decide which nation heading to Spain has the best beer.

Today it’s Group A. We will grade the six beers from the six nations with the top four progressing. First, we’ve got to take you through the six beers…
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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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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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