Regulars here at DBB have already familiarized themselves with José Calderón.
The 6-foot-3 point guard of the purest breed, who assists baskets without turning the ball over better than anybody not named Chris Paul, has always been intriguing, even if the verdict was to pass on him in the past. Entering the final year of his five-year, $45 million deal, though, he became a name frequently tossed around here as someone Joe Dumars should go after for both his point guardy play and his expiring contract.
On Wednesday, it happened, it really happened!
And now that Calderón is a Piston midway through the season and will be joining the Pistons on Friday for their game with Cleveland, just who is this guy anyway?
Surely, you've seen Calderón's basketball reference page, which shows what we already know -- he's a true point guard (40% career assist rate and has led the league in assists per turnover in three of the last five seasons) with with a razor-sharp shot (57% career TS%, 39% three-point shooter). Although he doesn't get to the line a whole lot (1.6 FTA per game), he broke an NBA record with a 98.1 FT% in 2008-09, missing only three of his 154 attempts.
Calderón was an undrafted free agent signee of the Toronto Raptors just before training camp in 2005 at the age of 24. He lasted almost eight years in Toronto, falling 18 games shy of breaking Morris Peterson's Raptors all-time games played record. He more than doubles their franchise's second place assists man, Alvin Williams, and if not coming off the bench, he would probably have their All-Time season assists record. The Raptors are a relatively new team with a poor history, but that should not belittle the fact that Calderón has been a franchise point guard.
At 31 years old and a free agent this summer, Calderón may only play 36 career games with the Pistons, though. And that's if he doesn't get hurt. Calderón has only played a full 82-game season once in his career and struggled through a hip injury as recent as two weeks ago. But in Arnie we trust.
So what else is there to know about Calderón? Below are some fun facts:
• He was born in Villanueva de la Serena, Badajoz, Spain (I wonder if that will be an ice breaker for Charlie Villanueva)
• Calderón was once almost traded to the Charlotte Bobcats.
• He won a Gold Medal at the 1998 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship.
• He has a hotel alias. Can you guess it?
We were watching a movie one day and I got a picture the next day from my teammates. They thought I was looking like the [lead character], so that's why I use that name. Mine is really funny.
• He was chosen for the All LOTR-ALL NBA Team by our own MFMP.
• He has two career triple-doubles, both this season.
• He once apologized to Doug Collins for being a douche and throwing a lob in the final seconds of an 18-point Raptors win.
• He also apologized for Spain's slit-eyed gestures at the Beijing Olympics, calling it "a mistake, a bad mistake."
• He is the co-owner of an organic pig farm.
• He is actually married to a woman named Ana Hurtado, and has a son.
• He has two dogs, Curro and Homer (after Homer Simpson).
• UPDATE: He will wear No. 8 for the Pistons.
• His Twitter handle is @Josemcalderon8:
@detroitpistons see you guys soon! Thanks!— jose manuel calderon (@josemcalderon8) January 31, 2013