When a report in August indicated that veteran NBA point guard Jose Calderon was contemplating retirement, the Spaniard quickly came out and shot it down. Calderon said at the time that he intended to continue his playing career and later told HoopsHype that he was “just waiting” for another NBA opportunity.
However, with the 2019/20 NBA season underway and no doors having opened for Calderon, the 38-year-old sounds like he’s prepared to call it a career, as Ben Golliver of The Washington Post details.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to be happy with the role that I had last year. I wasn’t playing, just helping and traveling the same amount. I was starting to miss my family a lot,” Calderon said. “I was watching a game the other day and I didn’t wish I was playing, which makes everything easier. When is the right time to say that this is it? [My retirement] is not official, but it’s almost. It’s about time. Maybe in the next couple of weeks I’ll make an official announcement and file the papers.”
As Calderon considers making his retirement decision official, he has taken on an off-court role with the National Basketball Players Association. According to Golliver, Michele Roberts, the NBPA’s executive director, hired Calderon as a special assistant this fall.
“I’ve always been sensitive to the absence of players at our New York headquarters,” Roberts told Golliver. “This is the Players Association. It’s kind of silly that it’s being run in large part by a bunch of lawyers and people with master’s degrees. I’m in regular contact with players, but it’s nice to have a body here so that I’m not calling a player who is in the middle of his game day nap or talking to someone who is so removed from the game that maybe their perspective is a little bit dated.”
As Golliver writes, Calderon heard from multiple NBA teams about possible front office positions this offseason, and was contacted by the league office as well. However, the longtime NBA point guard wanted to take on a flexible position that would allow him to test the waters and juggle his other responsibilities, including his charity work.
“I didn’t want to commit to a front office job and decide in three months that I wasn’t built for it,” Calderon said. “I didn’t have a dream job because I wasn’t sure what the best fit for me would be. That’s why this is a perfect transition role. I can touch a little bit of everything from basketball operations to finance to the international part, so that I can decide what I really like for the future.”
Assuming this is it for Calderon, he’ll retire with 895 career regular season games – and another 40 postseason appearances – under his belt for the Raptors, Pistons, Mavericks, Knicks, Lakers, Hawks, and Cavaliers. For his NBA career, the former undrafted free agent has averaged 8.9 PPG and 5.8 APG with an impressive .472/.407/.873 shooting line. He also played professionally in Spain for seven seasons before making his NBA debut in 2005.