Typically, society allocates resources and honors to those who want them most.
This is true for our economic systems which are derived from the concept of “utility”, and it’s typically true in sport.
However, in the case of Jose Calderon, I propose that the NBA and its fanbase contradict the aforementioned principle.
Jose Calderon deserves to be an All-Star—or at least to be recognized as being of All-Star caliber—because he wants it the least.
In his recent blog (scroll down), Gilbert Arenas attacks all backers of Calderon who have claimed over the past months that the Spanish Fly is worthy of All-Star status.
Arenas first claims that Calderon’s league-leading assist-to-turnover ratio isn’t a statistic worth notice. He then claims that Antawn Jamison is more deserving of the All-Star nod because he averages a double-double.
Finally, Agent Zero adds that he feels Calderon shouldn’t be on the All-Star team this year because Arenas didn’t make the team a couple years back when he was averaging a whopping 29 points, five assists, and five rebounds per game.
What Arenas failed to realize during his rant is that all of these statistical arguments are irrelevant.
Jose Calderon is an All-Star because he doesn’t care about statistics. Calderon’s one and only goal as the Toronto Raptors’ floor-general is leading his team to a successful season and ultimately a championship. He fails to value individual accolades (such as All-Star appearances). For this he must be commended.
How many “borderline All-Stars” have emotions of complete indifference when it comes to starting games and floor time? How many proven stars are happy to share the point guard spotlight with another player, TJ Ford, because they know Ford’s contributions can help the team perform better?
And Calderon is a restricted free agent at the end of this season! Most players try to rack up their stats to increase their market value in such a situation (*cough* Mike James *cough*).
Jose Calderon’s market value and All-Star worthiness should not be based on his stats (although they are damn good stats).
To quote Mr. Arenas: “An All-Star is an All-Star! He’s playing at a high level. That means, if you take him off the team, that team should fall down if he’s that one guy.”
If Calderon were removed from the Raptors’ roster, they would fall down. It is his selfless attitude that strengthens and kick-starts their incredible team chemistry. As the Knicks have shown us, team chemistry and personal sacrifice are pretty darn important when it comes to wins and losses.
And as Arenas has himself shown us: 29 points, five assists, and five rebounds does not equal, “If you take him off the team, that team should fall down.”