A point guard controversy in Toronto?
No way, says Jose.
Jose Calderon, the Toronto Raptors backup point guard, isn't worried about the armchair coaches who believe he should be starting instead of T.J. Ford after a summer in which he played some of the best basketball of his life.
Calderon averaged 12.3 and 2.6 assists on 60 per cent shooting, leading the Spanish national team to a silver medal at the European championships in his home country. He saved his best for the three final games, where he poured in 17, 18 and 15 points.
Combine that with his stellar performance in the NBA playoffs against the Nets last season, and you have a healthy chunk of Raptor fans who would like to see him running the floor from the opening tip-off.
But Calderon doesn't see it like that.
"I'm going to work hard to make a more difficult decision for (coach) Sam (Mitchell) ... but I'm very happy with my minutes and with my role on the team," Calderon said via conference call from Spain yesterday.
It was pointed out that he's entering the last year of his contract and could leave Toronto for a team where he would be the undisputed starter. Raptors General Manager Brian Colangelo said that several teams expressed interest in Calderon during this off-season.
"I don't worry about where else I'm going to play," Calderon said. "I feel very important to this team and I'm only thinking about the Raptors right now."
He is also thinking, just a little bit, about the gold medal the Spanish team lost out on with a 60-59 loss to Russia.
"Right now we feel proud of how we played ... It's disappointing, but the expectations were very high after (Spain won) the World Championships," Calderon said. "There were a lot of very good teams in the tournamnet and it's still a big thing to have the silver medal."