Title: My Favourite Player: Jose Calderon
Date: April 6, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about Jose Calderon as my first favorite Raptor and a connection I made to him through a grandfather I never knew.
The Carter Effect only partially applies to me. There is a lesser-known ripple in Toronto Raptors history known as The Calderon Consequence that has had a larger hand in my relationship with the team.
My timeline as a Raptors fan is atypical. I was a hockey-only kid most of my youth. Vince Carter’s 2000 Slam Dunk Contest performance, when I was in Grade 8, was my first real exposure to basketball. It wasn’t until I transitioned out of competitive hockey to play lacrosse and wrestle that I ironically began gravitating toward basketball — I herniated a disc in my back in a wrestling match in Grade 11 and I used that downtime to manage my high school’s basketball team.
That also happened to be Chris Bosh’s rookie year. My first real NBA memory is being late for a Sunday afternoon hockey game for a team I was helping coach because Bosh hit his first career 3 to force overtime against the Houston Rockets. The Raptors would win that game in double overtime. Over the course of that season, I became more engrossed by the Raptors. Not even the Vince Carter trade in 2004-05 could derail the momentum — the NHL was locked out, anyway, and I had managed to not-so-legally run an extra cable line from my dorm’s common room to my residence room so that I could watch every game. Because there was NBA and no NHL, and because basketball was a lot more feasible to play as a broke student in a dorm room than hockey, most of the connections and friendships I made as a freshman were built around basketball.
It wasn’t until the following year, though, that I found “My Guy” in Jose Calderon.