While he figures to man the point guard controls in the first unit for the Dallas Mavericks this upcoming season, 31-year-old floor general Jose Calderon is starring in a different role with the Spanish National Team during the EuroBasket championships in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Playing alongside countryman and budding star Ricky Rubio, Calderon has made a seamless transition to the shooting guard position while hoping to help Spain defend its title. Calderon’s perimeter shooting and ability to play off the ball could also lend Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle to utilizing different combinations at the 1 and 2 during the 2013-14 campaign, as the team tries to return to the playoffs following a 41-41 season.
Coming off a season in which he led the league in 3-point shooting percentage while connecting on 46.1 percent from behind the arc during stints with Toronto and Detroit, Calderon has continued his lights-out shooting in the international game. Through seven games, Calderon has averaged 10.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists for the Spaniards. Most impressively, he’s connected on 51 percent of his shots from the field and 51.5 percent from 3-point range.
All of which could help the new-look Dallas backcourt as the eight-year veteran joins forces with fellow new additions Monta Ellis and Devin Harris.
“I like to do that in every team I’m in,” Calderon told ESPN.com after scoring a game-high 23 points on 8-for-10 shooting in Spain’s 82-56 blowout win against Finland in the second round of the championships Saturday. “You have to know your role. But you need everybody to win games. You can’t win by yourself — not in the NBA, not in Europe, not in Spain. If you’ve got a teammate around you, you know sometimes they’re going to score, sometimes you’re going to pass the ball or you won’t win games — unless you’re Kobe Bryant or LeBron James. And even then, they need a good team around them.
“It’s not easy when you’ve played all the time at the 1 position,” he added. “But it’s about the team. This is what my team needs right now. I want to win. Today, I was the scorer. Maybe the next day we don’t need me scoring. I just play basketball and try to do the best for the team. … If I have to play 5, I’ll play 5. That’s what we’ve been doing for years in the Spanish team. We’re different here to what we’re doing in our (NBA) teams, and that’s why our team is successful.”