Calderon Committed To Spain Cause

01.10.2005

Spanish point guard Jose Manuel Calderon has re-affirmed his commitment to his country despite departing to play his basketball in the NBA.

The former TAU Ceramica player quit the Liga ACB this summer to sign for the Toronto Raptors.

That puts him in a similar situation to countryman Pau Gasol, who missed last month's EuroBasket in order to rest a long-standing foot injury and ensure he was fit to start the season with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Unless I break my leg, I will be in Japan
Jose Manuel Calderon
However, Calderon insists he will do everything possible to be with Spain in next year's World Championship.

"Unless I break my leg, I will be in Japan, there is going to be no 'Calderon case' I can assure you of that," he said.

Despite qualifying for next year's tournament, Spain returned from the EuroBasket with a bitter-sweet taste in their mouths after missing out on a place in the final by one point against Germany and then losing the play-off for third place by 30 points against France.

Head coach Mario Pesquera has been told his job is safe, but Calderon believes there could still be a change at the top.

José Calderón (Spain)
José Calderón
"I would not be surprised and at the same time I would be," he said. "A balance of what happened will be made and people will have to act on the decision that is taken."

For Calderon, the focus now is getting in shape for his first season in the NBA.

"I start training on Monday, we have some friendlies and then in November it is the first game of the season, what I have been waiting for," he said.

"All I am worried about now is taking a chance that I consider to be historic. Toronto have put faith in me and that is always satisfying for a player."


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