Calderon nears record

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

Jay Triano wasn't slighting the Raptors' staff which diligently cranks out the game notes and he isn't so absorbed in coaching that he doesn't know one of his players is closing in on an NBA record.

But the superstitious Triano feigned a blank look when asked about Jose Calderon's bid to pass Micheal Williams' NBA record of 97 consecutive made free throws. After going 3-for-3 from the line last night against the Kings, Calderon is just 11 behind Williams.

"What record?" Triano said before the game. "Really? Do you mean three pointers? Wow."

Natt-ural respect

Triano and Sacramento coach Kenny Natt go back a quarter century when they were roommates with the Utah Jazz, watching television reports that said if John Stockton didn't resolve contract difficulties, the Jazz might give his spot to Triano. Stockton signed, became the NBA career assists leader and now his number is hung on Utah's rafters. Triano and Natt still joke with each other about whether the Jazz made the right choice.

"Those are the things that we've cherished in our relationship over the years," said Natt, who like Triano, was promoted from assistant coach when his team struggled at the start of this season.

"Now to be in our situation, neither of us would have dreamed that we'd have been head coaches in the NBA, or coaches period.

"We worked hard to earn where we are. Nothing has been given to us. I've been in the minor leagues and so has Jay."

Natt is familiar with this area as the former director of player personnel for the Hamilton Skyhawks of the World Basketball League.

"I've always admired Canada. I loved being here and the people here are really nice. I often think of going back in the summer -- it's too cold in the winter -- and take a vacation."


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