Mérida, Nov 2 (EFE).- The official debut of José Manuel Calderón from Extremadura in the NBA, in which he remained for 14 seasons, took place on November 2, 2005, just 18 years ago, in a game in which his team, the Toronto Raptors, lost 99-96 to the Washington Wizards.
Calderón, who came onto the court in the first quarter, got off to a brilliant start by making his first two shots at the basket, including a three-pointer, and then missing the third – another three-pointer. In addition, he gave three assists, captured a rebound, recovered a ball and lost another in the 17 minutes he played.
The player from Villanueva de la Serena (Badajoz), who is now an advisor to the Cleveland Cavaliers, played 14 seasons in the NBA in seven different teams, although his greatest performance came with the Toronto Raptors between 2005 and 2013.
Throughout his entire NBA career (895 games), the point guard averaged 8.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists in an average of 26.4 minutes per game.
He holds the record for the best free throw percentage in an NBA regular season, with a 98.1% success rate (151/154) in the 2008-2009 season.
After going through other teams such as the New York Knicks or the Los Angeles Lakers, Calderón ended up in the 2017-2018 season with the Cavaliers, with whom he reached the NBA Finals to lose to the Golden State Warriors of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.
That was Calderón’s penultimate season as a player before saying goodbye to the courts in 2018-2019 playing for the Detroit Pistons.
After retiring as a player, the Spaniard was special assistant to the executive director of the NBA Players Association (NBPA).
Before making the leap to the NBA, in Spain he had already achieved titles such as the LEB Oro champion and promotion to the ACB with Lucentum Alicante, in the 1999-2000 season, and the Copa del Rey champion. with Tau Vitoria, the team in which he formed, in the 2003-04 season.
With the Spanish team he was World Champion in Japan 2006, European Champion in Lithuania 2011 and runner-up at the London 2012 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, among other medals. EFE