David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
The newest member of the Detroit Pistons is unable to make his debut until obtaining a U.S. visa.
As Dave Hogg notes for Fox Sports Detroit, Calderon is a Spanish citizen who had been playing for the Raptors using a Canadian work visa. Unfortunately for Pistons fans eager to see a point guard capable of doing point guardy things, the necessary paperwork clearing him to be employed by a team in the United States is not yet processed. You'd think the NBA would have this thing down to a science, right? Apparently not:
Joe D said NBA told him they couldn't recall case of int'l player being traded from Canada to US-based team, thus visa complications— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) February 1, 2013
DBB's house attorney Brian Packey, Esq. offers his educated guess on what's happening:
The visa he's probably in the process of getting is called a P-1. P-1 visas are for athletes with international recognition and O-1 is for athletes with extraordinary ability. P-1 has a lower burden to prove, and can be issued for a season or up to 5 years.
In the meantime, Calderon is definitely out for tonight's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and most likely out for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers. With any luck, hopefully he'll be cleared to play Monday in New York. Calderon is reportedly at the Palace, but not without a hangup at the border:
Dumars told media story about Calderon being stopped & questioned by Border Patrol driving from Toronto. Guard finally said get 5 more wins— Jennifer Hammond (@HammerFox2) February 1, 2013