Taco Bell Skills Competition 2011: Jose Calderon and Other Star Guards Snubbed

Justin BoninAnalyst IFebruary 3, 2011

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 22:  Jose Calderon #8 of the Toronto Raptors dribbles the ball during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on January 22, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

I’m browsing the NBA.com homepage today, and as per usual, the first thing that catches my eye is the fancy Trade Deadline countdown, but that’s nothing new; I’ve seen that before, so I continue down the page and check the top stories of the day. 


So I am cycling through the lead stories. I begin with a story on the announcement of the All-Star reserves that came earlier tonight; not too shabby.  Then, there is an ad hyping up the Heat-Magic game later tonight; should be a good one.  After that, I see a Spurs ad, but I don’t feel like hearing about the Spurs, so I skip to the next one, and then bam, there’s Charles Barkley all up in my face talking about his “Not so terrible website”, but that’s not what I want to talk about,


I want to talk about what I saw next.  It was an ad for the Taco Bell Skills Challenge.  Intrigued, I decide to further investigate and place possibly place my vote.


So, how am I feeling about this Taco Best Skills competition right about now? Well, to be honest, I am quite disappointed.  Right away, I am thinking, okay, Chris Paul is an elite guard in the league, and yeah, I am well aware that he was recently and probably still is first in the league in assists per turnover ratio as well as assists, but why does he get a free pass to the contest? He was not even in it last year.  If anyone should get a free pass, it should be Steve Nash, the defending champion (not too to take anything away from Chris Paul’s game). 


So anyway, I eventually get over myself and decide to scroll down and see whom all I can choose.  There is Baron Davis, Tyreke Evans, and Derek Fisher…and right about now, I am shocked, yet I somehow find the strength to keep going.  I see Tony Parker, Stephen Curry, Derrick Rose, John Wall, and Russell Westbrook, and I can finally breathe easy again.  I am quite content now, knowing that the regular superstar point guards are there, but then, not too shortly after since I have an incredibly short attention span, I start thinking to myself…where be D-Will? And Rondo? And, where the hell is Nash?


Then I start thinking again, okay, if they’re going to have guys like Tyreke Evans, Baron Davis and Derek Fisher as candidates, then there is absolutely no reason why Jose Calderon should be left out. 


Now that I am absolutely flabbergasted by the situation, I decide to check out some stats and see how accurate my initial reactions really were.  Derek Fisher is averaging 2.8 assists per game and is definitely not the quickest cat in the league, so why is he here? 


Then I check out the next guy, Baron Davis; what do I see?  Well, he is not much better than Fisher is; he has got 6.6 assists per game, which are good enough for 18th in the league, 18th!  So again, I get over myself and check the third and final member of the trio of disappointments, and it's even worse, Evans is 27th in the league with 5.5 Assists per game. 



Dazed and confused, I ask myself, why did they choose these three players? They are all on underachieving teams (sorry LA, had to be said, even though I still have faith), and aside from Fisher, their teams are playing horribly.  Therefore, this means I can forget about them trying to select someone from a good team, and it furthers they theory that Jose Calderon should have been selected as an option.


Calderon is seventh in the league with 8.5 assists per game and third in assists per 48 minutes with 13.5.  And it gets better; he is second in assists to turnover ratio with 4.03 assists for each turnover, so with accurate passing like that, are you really going to tell me that he wouldn’t be one the best when it comes to getting the pumpkin through those tiny little hoops?  Because if you are then I say, you are lying! 


The only knock on Calderon when it comes to an event like this is that he doesn’t have blinding speed, but then again, neither does the aging Derek Fisher or the out of shape Baron Davis.  And aside from that, one might say that he isn’t popular enough to be in the event, but then again, isn't the point of these events to help the rising stars gain momentum and popularity?


Well since that is the case, I say more power to him. Winning this event could be a huge boost for Calderon and could finally get him the popularity and respect he deserves.


Therefore, in conclusion, I will steal a chant/quote from last year’s dunk contest and rather than cheering “Let Shannon Dunk”, I say “LET JOSE PASS!”


If you enjoyed this article, please comment and let me know, and if you hated it, comment anyway and let me know why. 


I hope you enjoyed what I have to say on this topic because I still have a lot more to say, so stick around to hear more in the near future.