Talkin' all that trash

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

The concept of trash talking is lost on Jose Calderon.

He doesn't do it himself and when it is directed at him, which is happening more frequently, rarely does he realize it.

Calderon's first experience with this predominantly North American practice was in his rookie season.

"The only guy I remember doing it was in my first few games (with the Raptors)," Calderon said.

"It was Gary Payton. He was talking to me for the whole game. After one whistle I said, "Look, the only thing I can say in English is I don't understand what you are saying."

Calderon will be the first to acknowledge his English-language skills have come a long way since the Glove showed him no love, but he insisted he is unaware of teams paying him any more attention.

"Maybe you see something from outside and I don't realize they are talking to me," Calderon said. "I am concentrating."

Calderon is bang on with that assumption. Take the game against the Boston Celtics last Wednesday night, for example.

Celtics backup point guard Eddie House was trying to get Calderon's attention both when he was in the game and when he was on the bench. Calderon said he did not realize it.

There was the Anthony Johnson incident that Calderon had to be aware of after the Atlanta Hawk threw an elbow at the back of his head.

But Calderon said that was an isolated act.

"I don't know what happened with him," Calderon said.

"That was just a one-time thing.

"I don't have anything else like that happen with anyone else in the league."

Calderon says he does all his talking (to the opposition) at the start of the game.

"Only at the beginning of the game I say how are you, how are you doing to everyone," Calderon said. "That's it."

Chris Bosh doesn't see or hear Calderon doing much baiting, but he routinely sees him make his opponents look bad and suggested that might be the reason for the increased resentment Calderon has been receiving lately.

"He's a focal point and he plays hard," Bosh said. "And he's strong, man. You don't think that when you look at him, but he's very fast and he's a physical player and when a guy is getting busted you know he's going to be upset a little bit.

"It happens. Sometimes people try to intimidate you out of your play, but that doesn't work with Jose. He just plays basketball."

While Bosh agreed the international players, particularly those who are new to the NBA, probably will get a little more in the way of intimidation tactics from opponents, he said everyone is fair game.

"It's kind of a test, but ask any player, if they don't know you and they think you are friendly or something they are going to test you," Bosh said.

"That's fair. I do it. I play hard against someone, get physical and see if they respond. If they do you have a game and if they don't that's a plus for you."

Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell believes Calderon when he says he is unaware of any extra attention, but has seen it for himself and said it's a badge of honour for the young Spaniard.

"I wouldn't say they're testing him," Mitchell said. "When they do stuff like that I would say it's a sign of respect. Guys don't talk to people they don't worry about. You don't get in a guy's face you're not worried about. You don't cheap-shot a guy who can't play. You want that guy to be in the game. That's a sign of respect."


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