“I’m just waiting,” Calderon told The HoopsHype Podcast. “I’m working out in case somebody calls before training camp or during training camp and needs a player like myself to be the third point guard and help a young guy or be there just in case somebody goes out with an injury or needs rest… I feel really good. I feel healthy and I think I can still help one of those teams, so let’s see what happens in the next couple of weeks and see if something comes up. We were close to signing with a couple of teams during July and August, but it didn’t happen because I wasn’t the first option – somebody else came or some other option showed up for those teams. But it was good. It was interesting. Right now, I’m just waiting and working out and [hopefully] I can do training camp. We’ll see what happens.”
If Calderon isn’t signed by the end of training camp, he isn’t sure if he’ll continue to train and wait for a midseason NBA offer that may or may not come.
“That’s kind of what’s in my mind right now,” Calderon said. “At this stage of my career, I think it’s going to be really hard to just keep practicing and working out for one, two, three months just in case something happens. I think that’s tough, to stay in NBA shape for three or four months or whatever. I don’t know. I don’t really know what will happen in the next three or four weeks until training camp starts. I don’t know; if nobody calls, I think that’s something where I still have to make up my mind.
“I’m pretty comfortable in this situation. I’m not shocked to be in this situation like, ‘[Why don’t] I have a team?’ or something. I’m already working on what could be my next move or what I’ll do, or I could just enjoy being with my family more. So like I said, I’m not sure. Right now, I’m going to keep working really hard and stay positive that somebody will call in the next two or three weeks. But if not, I think I need to sit with my family and my agency and just make a decision and [consider] what the chances really are of something happening or not, and we’ll decide something after that.”
If Calderon does land on an NBA roster, he’s not ready to say this would be his final season. He said that he’d want to see how this season goes and how he feels before making that decision.
But if Calderon’s NBA career is over, he’s at peace with that. He isn’t sure what exactly he’d want to do in retirement, but he did mention several possibilities such as working for the NBA or NBPA, making the transition to a front-office job or becoming a broadcaster. He believes many doors will open once he’s officially retired, so he’ll decide his next step when that time comes since he’ll have a better understanding of his options.
It used to be common for international players to finish their playing career back in Europe, but that doesn’t happen as often these days. Calderon had considered finishing his career in Spain and admitted that was initially his plan when he entered the NBA in 2003. However, that plan changed because he wants his children to remain in the United States a bit longer.
“I would like to play there, maybe, yes, just to play a year or two back home or something like that. But my kids are here and they are learning English; they’re bilingual now and I’m really happy about that,” he said. “I would like for them to stay here, just because my little one is 5 years old and I would like for him to get a little bit older [in the U.S.] so that his English will be perfect forever, for life. There are a lot of opportunities here for them. At least for a few years, I want to stay, so that would be my reason for not going back to play there. With my permanent residency here in the U.S., I would like to stay here for them.”
Calderon has played 14 seasons in the NBA, most recently suiting up for the Detroit Pistons. You can listen to his entire interview on The HoopsHype Podcast below (or on iTunes, Spotify, Audioboom, etc.):