José Calderón

2009-07-10 18:56 BJT

This is a Spanish name; the first family name is Calderón and the second is Borrallo.

José Manuel Calderón Borrallo (born September 28, 1981, in Villanueva de la Serena, Badajoz) is a Spanish professional basketball player who plays for the National Basketball Association's Toronto Raptors and the Spanish national team. He is the Raptors' starting point guard.

NBA career.

Rookie season

Calderón entered the NBA when former Raptors GM Rob Babcock persuaded the Spanish guard to sign with the Toronto Raptors on 3 August 2005. Known as a talented playmaker, Calderón struggled with his shooting in his first year in the NBA. By the end of the 2005–06 season, he was ranked third among all rookies in assists with 4.5 per game. He finished the season with 64 played games, having started in 11 of them. He averaged 5.5 points, 4.5 assists, 2.2 rebounds and an assists-per-turnover ratio of 2.85.

2006–07 season

Calderón taking a jump shot in a 2006–07 game against the Washington WizardsThroughout the 2006–07 season, Calderón played primarily as backup to T. J. Ford, turning in solid numbers from the bench. As acknowledged by coach Sam Mitchell as well as his teammates, Calderón's form was instrumental to the Raptors' push for a playoff spot, and later, the Atlantic Division title. He ended his regular season with improved averages of 8.8 points and 5.1 assists per game and .525 in field goal percentage, even though he had less playing time compared to his rookie season. In the 2007 NBA Playoffs, Calderón played in all of Toronto's games in the series against the New Jersey Nets, but the Raptors were defeated 4–2. Calderón averaged 13.0 points and 5.3 assists per game in his first ever NBA playoff season.

2007–08 season

Toronto continued to deploy Ford and Calderón in tandem for the point guard position to good effect. Ford was injured for several games in November and December and the Spaniard stepped in with impressive performances.[7] In three games against the Memphis Grizzlies, Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls, Calderón provided 37 assists while committing only three turnovers. 14 games into the season, he was also leading the league in assist-to-turnover ratio with 5.67 to 1, but even so, he said: "But how I feel about the team right now is that we need T.J. Ford ." 35 games into the season, the Spaniard increased the turnover ratio to 6.15 to 1, setting him on course to break an NBA record (he went to end the season as the league-leader with 5.38 to 1). He became only the sixth player in NBA history to shoot at least 50% on field goals, 40% on three-pointers, and 90% on free-throws. By mid-season, he was touted as a possibility for making the All-Star reserve team. Even after Ford returned from injury for the final third of the campaign, Calderón was able to keep his place in the starting lineup. Ford had initially agreed to playing backup, but reportedly became frustrated at not being able to start. Calderón eventually asked the coaching staff to play Ford as starter instead, leading to widespread praise from the coaching staff, his team mates, and fans. Given that he was going to become a free agent by the end of the campaign, there were even calls for Ford to be traded so that the team could be built around Calderón as point guard.[14] By the end of the regular season, Calderón was fifth in the league for assists per game, and in the 2008 NBA Playoffs, Ford split the playing time with him about equally, with the two players combining for averages of 23.4 points and 13.6 assists per game.However, the Raptors were eliminated by the Orlando Magic in the first round four games to one.

2008–09 season

On 9 July 2008, Calderón re-signed with the Raptors to a multi-year deal. With the departure of Ford to the Indiana Pacers, the Spaniard was slated to start the point guard position for the Raptors. At the same time, new acquisition Jermaine O'Neal formed the frontcourt with Bosh. However, 17 games into the season, Toronto fired head coach Sam Mitchell and the line-ups were constantly shuffled. By the end of 2008, the Raptors were 12–20, but with Calderón out for almost a month thereafter, the team slipped to 16–28. When Calderón returned to the Raptors lineup, he helped snap a seven-game losing streak with a 114–94 victory over Chicago, recording 23 points on 9-of-10 shooting and 10 assists. Not long after, he set the second-longest streak in NBA history for consecutive free throws made (87). On 13 March 2009, Calderón surpassed Alvin Williams' franchise record for career assists with 1795. On 29 March 2009, in a game against Chicago, he tied the franchise record for most assists in game with 19, and not long after, set an NBA record for highest free-throw percentage in a season. These records, however, were overshadowed by the Raptors rapidly falling out of the playoffs picture soon after the All-Star break, and the criticism Calderón faced for being unable to defend and play an up-tempo game. Toronto eventually finished with a 33–49 record, with the Spaniard leading the Eastern Conference in assists per game and the league in free throw percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio.

Editor: Yang Jie | Source: