Calderon: Lowry had ‘all the pieces to be a really good player’

DeMar DeRozan credits much of his growth as a player to Jose Calderon, who always believed in him, says he's one of his favourite teammates of all-time.

Jose Calderon has had a busy few weeks.

The former Toronto Raptors point guard landed with the Atlanta Hawks earlier this month after being waived by both the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors in the span of just a few days.

On Thursday, Calderon discussed the events of the last month and reflected on his time with the Raptors during an appearance on The Andrew Walker Show on The FAN 590.

“I really feel, from Day 1 when I got [to Toronto], it was great. It felt like home,” he said. “The fans from the beginning, they make me feel really comfortable out there and I still feel it. Now with social media, it’s even easier to get a lot of love from those fans. It goes both ways.”

In addition to being a fan favourite in Toronto, Calderon also worked his way into the team’s record books, and still holds the franchise record for assists with 3,770. Next in line? Kyle Lowry—though with 2,374, he’s got a long way to go.

“All those records are made to be broken at some time. If it’s somebody I know, why not? Kyle was a great teammate, I still have a good relationship with him,” Calderon said.

Jose Calderon on Toronto, Lowry, greatest Raptors, and clarifying a Golden paycheque
March 23 2017

Calderon and Lowry spent one year together in Toronto—a year of transition for the Raptors, which eventually led to Calderon being traded to Detroit and Lowry stepping into the No. 1 role.

Since then, Lowry has made great strides as a leader of the Raptors—something that doesn’t surprise Calderon at all.

“He worked really hard every day and he was really competitive,” he said. “Every time he jumps on that court, you know he’s going to give you 200 per cent. So when you’ve got a guy like that, and when his talent is involved as well, you’ve got all the pieces to be a really good player and that’s what happened with Kyle. That’s why he grew up to be the player he is right now.”

Calderon also talked about his future in basketball and his confusing two hours as a member of the Warriors, among other topics. Here are some excerpts:

On what the future holds:

“Right now, I would like to play a couple more years if I can. I really feel great. I’m healthy, I’m in shape, I’m ready to help … on whatever team [that might] need me. But we’ll see. It’s something I’ve never thought, long term. I try to go year by year and see how everything goes and what is the best option for me, for my family now, for everything. We love being in the U.S. or Canada, being in this part of the world and if something comes up here, we maybe stay. If not, we go back to Spain and for sure there’s going to be something still with basketball. We’ll see what happens in the next couple of years.”

On the golden paycheque that wasn’t:

“The money I gave to the Lakers to get out is now being paid by Atlanta. Golden State didn’t pay anything to me. I didn’t make more money to be here or in Golden State. I was just trying to give money away just to be able to get an opportunity. I know it was a great headline, but not accurate.”

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