New York Knicks: Jose Calderon Heralded as a Mentor


The New York Knicks have a surplus of options at point guard. Jose Calderon is a respected veteran, Langston Galloway made an All-Rookie Team in 2014-15, and Jerian Grant is a highly touted first-year playmaker.

Fortunately for the Knicks, that depth projects to be a strength instead of a liability.

There’s a genuine possibility that head coach Derek Fisher, a former point guard himself, will be unable to manage egos and playing time. All three players could thrive in starter’s minutes, but an equal share won’t always be available.

According to Ian Begley of ESPN New York, Calderon has set the tone for Grant and company by embodying what it means to be a team player—even if it’s to the detriment of his own role within the organization.

"“I’m trying to make [Grant’s] jump into the NBA as comfortable as possible,” Calderon says. “It doesn’t matter who plays at the end of the day. I’m not happier because I’m starting on the Knicks. I could be starting, I could be coming off of the bench, and I’d be the same way. It’s important to be in a good environment.”"

"“[The young guys] ask a lot and they listen, that’s all you can ask for,” Calderon says. “There are some guys in the league who, you try to say something, they don’t accept it and you have to walk away. But I think these guys are great.”"

That’s the very definition of a team player.

Calderon being willing to potentially sacrifice his playing time for the betterment of the team already makes him an ideal mentor. Not only is it sending a team-first message to the younger players, but it helps the Knicks in the short-term, as well.

It’s encouraging to know that Calderon would accept the move without contempt.

There’s no telling if a change will be made, but if it is, Calderon is doing all he can to prepare Grant for it.

On the other end of the spectrum, Grant has fully taken advantage of the opportunity to learn from Calderon. Both as a player and a teammate, the Spaniard is respected throughout the Association as a lethal sharpshooter and gifted facilitator.

Grant not only appreciates Calderon’s openness and experience, but has turned to him as something of a mentor.

"“[Calderon]’s so open, anything you want to bring to him, he’s going to give you advice on it,” Grant says.“[Calderon’s] been in the league for 10 years, so if I can learn anything from him, then I want to learn,” Grant says. “At the same time, when we step out on the court, we compete against each other in practice, we’re going to compete as hard as we can. But when we have time to help each other out, that’s what we do.“We’re a team at the end of the day, even though we’re competing at the same spot.”"

For all of the flack that he receives, Calderon is doing everything the Knicks could ask of him.

Calderon’s contract will inevitably draw the ire of Knicks fans looking towards the 2016 NBA offseason. He’s due roughly $7.4 million in 2014-15 and will make upwards of $7.7 million in 2015-16, which could impede New York from offering him a max contract.

As a member of the current roster, however, Calderon has the invaluable task of facilitating the development of the players who could be the future at point guard. Now 34 years old, Calderon’s experience and perspective are enabling New York to do just that.

In the face of potential adversity, Calderon is proving to be in it for the right reasons.

Next: Kristaps Porzingis is taking his development one step at a time

More from Daily Knicks