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.
(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.)
After a bit of NBA preseason play with the Charlotte Bobcats and Houston Rockets in the mid-2000s followed by a D League stint, Campbell took to the road. Since 2008, he’s played in France, Mexico, New Zealand and Iran, therefore has likely seen some weird contract-based shenanigans and rule changes – but surely nothing like this.
As it turns out, Campbell was signed by Al Rayyan Doha Club in September; since the 25th of that month, Campbell has been with the team at an agreed-upon $10,000 monthly salary. Because of a sudden league-mandate rule change regarding foreign players on club rosters, Campbell never suited up to play a game and opted out of his contract after 50 days and the club offered to pay him a pittance against the contracted amount.
Stakes were raised. Campbell’s agent Bill McCandless demanded $50,000. Al Rayyan Doho offered $20,000. McCandless refused, threatening FIBA arbitration. Club officials made the same offer to Campbell (!), who ultimately refused to get on the FIBA arbitration bandwagon. Campbell meanwhile signed with Apollon Limassol and got set to leave town.
Finally, according to Court-Side, the club denied Campbell’s exit visa from the country. Clearly, somebody means business.
BallinEurope wishes Marcus the best of luck in his trial. Hopefully, his fondest wish as expressed on Facebook, i.e. “Man I want some Waffle House three eggs scrambled cheese grits bacon and waffle-double waffle,” will soon be possible again.