José Manuel Calderón Borrallo (born September 28, 1981) is a Spanish professional basketball player for the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association (NBA). With the Spanish national basketball team, he won a FIBA World Cup title in 2006, two Olympic silver medals in 2008 and 2012, as well as a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics. He also won a EuroBasket title in 2011, two silver medals in 2003 and 2007 as well as a bronze in 2013. Calderón earned an All-EuroBasket Team selection in 2007. José Calderón was born and raised in the town of Villanueva de la Serena, in Spain. His main inspiration for basketball came from his father, who used to play basketball for his hometown’s team, Doncel La Serena. Calderón used to enjoy seeing his father play. He accompanied him to his games and practices. He received a proposal to play professional basketball after he won a junior team championship. After a discussion with his parents, Calderón decided to carry on the professional basketball tradition. Calderón was greatly focused on training for and playing basketball during this time in his life. He was surrounded by motivated teammates who put in strong effort, and pushed Calderón to work as hard as them. After playing for Diputación Foral Alava, Calderón joined Lucemtum Alicante (Spanish Second Division) in 1999, and he was able to lead his team to the ACB (Spanish First Division). Unfortunately, his team had to return to the second division because of fierce competition. This helped Calderón adapt to the competition, and catalyzed an improvement to his game. In 2001, Calderón joined ACB team Fuenlabrada. He averaged 9.7 points, and 1.7 assists in 18.6 minutes per game, and shot 83.2% from the free throw line. By the end of the season, he received an opportunity to play for the Spanish national team. In 2002, he played for the senior Spanish national team in the 2002 FIBA World Championship at Indianapolis, where his team ended up in fifth place. After the summer, Calderón signed with TAU Vitoria. Calderon played three seasons with Tau Vitoria, resulting in plenty of wins. His team became the winners of the Spanish King’s Cup, and were also runners-up in both the Liga ACB (Spanish League) and the EuroLeague. In 2002–03, he averaged 7.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 steals in the EuroLeague. In 2003–04, he averaged 7.2 points, 1.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.1 steals in the EuroLeague. In 2004–05, he averaged 11.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.5 steals in the EuroLeague. Calderón entered the NBA when former Raptors GM Rob Babcock persuaded the Spanish guard to sign with the Toronto Raptors on August 3, 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.
Throughout 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 NBA playoff 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. 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 [for the next 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 shot at least 50% on field goals, 40% on three-pointers, and 90% on free-throws, and is sometimes listed as a member of the NBA’s 50–40–90 Club, even though he was sixteen free-throws shy of attaining the NBA league minimum number of makes in this category. 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, teammates, 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. 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.
On July 9, 2008, Calderón re-signed with the Raptors to a multi-year deal, reported to be worth $7.5 million to $8.5 million a season. 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 March 13, 2009, Calderón surpassed Alvin Williams’ franchise record for career assists with 1795. On March 29, 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. The Raptors underwent a significant roster overhaul in the preseason, such as bringing Jarrett Jack from Indiana to play as Calderón’s back-up and point forward Hedo Türkoglu to share in ball-handling duties. With a third of the season gone, the Spaniard picked up an injury that put him out for 12 games, resulting in Jack holding on to the starting spot even upon the former’s return, paralleling the Ford-Calderón scenario in 2007–08. Still, the pair combined well and helped bring the Raptors to a 21–20 record at the mid-season mark. During the early stages of the 2010 offseason, the Raptors had a deal in place to send Calderon and Reggie Evans to the Charlotte Bobcats for Tyson Chandler and Boris Diaw. However, Michael Jordan, the owner of the Bobcats, nixed the deal right before it was finalized, which allowed Calderon to remain with the Raptors. On February 12, 2012, Calderón scored a career high 30 points in a 94–92 loss against the Lakers. Calderón led the league in assists per turnover (4.5) for the third time in five years at the conclusion of the regular season. On January 30, 2013, Calderón was traded to the Detroit Pistons in a three-team trade which sent Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye, and Ed Davis to the Memphis Grizzlies and Rudy Gay and Hamed Haddadi to Toronto. He became the starting point guard for the Pistons, and in just his fourth game for the franchise, he recorded 23 points and 10 assists in the 105-100 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Calderón finished the season averaging 11.3 points and 7.1 assists per game. He also led the league in three-point shooting percentage (.461) and was second in assists per turnover (4.1). On July 11, 2013, Calderón signed with the Dallas Mavericks to a reported four-year, $28 million contract. He became the Mavericks lead point guard, starting in 81 games. He had his best game on December 20, 2013 against his former team, the Toronto Raptors, where he recorded 23 points and 9 assists. Calderón finished the season averaging 11.4 points and 4.7 assists per game. On June 25, 2014, Calderón, along with Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington, Samuel Dalembert and two 2014 second-round picks, was traded to the New York Knicks in exchange for Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton. In the process, he re-joined former Raptor teammate Andrea Bargnani. After a preseason injury kept him on sidelines for the first 13 games of the season, he made his Knicks debut on November 22, 2014 as he recorded 3 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in the 91-83 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. On March 23, 2015, Calderón was ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing a procedure on his strained left Achilles tendon. On March 13, 2016, Calderón made a game-winning three-point shot with 0.2 seconds left on the clock to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers. On June 22, 2016, Calderón was traded, along with Jerian Grant and Robin Lopez, to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Derrick Rose, Justin Holiday and a 2017 second-round draft pick. On July 7, he was traded again, this time with two future second-round picks to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for the rights to Ater Majok. On December 5, 2016, he was ruled out for two to four weeks with a right hamstring strain. On February 27, 2017, he was waived by the Lakers. After being waived by the Lakers, Calderón was set to join the Golden State Warriors. However, after Kevin Durant suffered a possible season-ending knee injury, the Warriors felt they needed a forward instead of a point guard to fill Durant’s role. The Warriors still honored their agreement with Calderón, signing him on March 1, 2017 before waiving him later that day. While he was only with the team for two hours, the Warriors agreed to pay Calderón the $415,000 he would have earned if he had been on the team for the rest of the season. On March 2, 2007, the Raptors announced that Calderón had been named a Right To Play Athlete Ambassador. Right To Play is an athlete-driven international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play as a tool for the development of children and youth in the most disadvantaged areas of the world. As part of the program, Calderón pledged $1000 for every assist he recorded in a home game against the Chicago Bulls on November 26, 2007. He ended the game with 14 assists. Calderon is a co-owner of an organic pig farm. He is married to Ana Hurtado. The couple welcomed their first child, Manuel, in Villanueva de la Serena on May 23, 2010.