Jose Calderon can’t escape his ham farm story

, on October 15, 2014 , 11:05AM

jose calderon at the ham farm


If you’ve been following The Starters since our TBJ days, then you know we’ve always had a soft, salty spot in our hearts for Jose Calderon, the Raptors’ all-time leading assist man and the only person in the league who I am aware of that owns a ham farm in Spain. And if you’ve been paying close attention to all our ham farm mentions, then the fact that Jose Calderon hates all those ham farm mentions should come as no surprise.


Via the Toronto Sun:


We finally found someone Jose Calderon, perhaps the nicest man in the entire NBA is a little cross with — whoever wrote in the Raptors media guide long ago that Calderon was a dedicated pig farmer.


Calderon spent a few minutes prior to Monday’s pre-season game, his first at Madison Square Garden as a member of the Knicks, playing down talk that he is some sort of pig farming kingpin who is heavily involved in the process.


“I’m just part of that business, I’ve just got my brand,” Calderon said with a laugh, dispelling any rumours he spends his spare time in the mud with swine.


“We just buy some ham for farmers. You sell that, it’s not like we’re huge, big, I don’t have pigs. I don’t know who did that at the beginning, that media guide,” he said.


OK, fair enough. If he doesn’t own pigs, then I guess he isn’t technically a ham farmer. Sure, he did a commercial with Sprint last year talking about Spanish ham and which soil is the best in all of Spain for ham pigs, so he seems to be a bit more involved than he’s letting on (not to mention, the fact he knows their diet and its effects). At the very least, it seems like Jose Calderon is really trying to put his delicious ham farm behind him.


Not so fast, says Dwane Casey.


Raptors head coach Dwane Casey has made no secret of his fondness for Calderon: “He’s one of those guys you remember (when you are done coaching),” Casey said.


“He’s one of the most beautiful leaders I’ve ever been around. Jose is great, he’s a beautiful man. Very knowledgeable, I always tease him, does he want to get into coaching, and hopefully he’s smart and doesn’t do that, stay with his pig business over in Spain and raise his family.”


Right around that time, Calderon walked by and interrupted Casey’s media scrum for a hug.


“I was just telling them what a great pig farmer you are,” Casey said, keeping that narrative going.


Hahahahahaha. You know what they say — once a ham farmer in a media guide, always a ham farmer.

The Starters at the 2014 Finals: Trey parties with Spurs fans and eats a giant sandwich

, on June 18, 2014 , 10:30AM


Having fun and eating giant meals are two of my all-time favorite things, so you can imagine how much fun I had a Game 5 of the 2014 Finals. And if you can’t imagine, just watch the videos.



Enjoy it!

A D.C. bar is serving drinks inspired by the Wizards’ starting five

, on May 9, 2014 , 12:25PM

To be honest, I thought there’d be a lot more bamboo in “the Bradley Beal,” or that it would be 64 ounces or something like that. But whatever, as long as The Passenger calls these drinks “elixirs” to keep that magical wizarding theme alive, I’m happy.


Oh by the way, DO NOT order “the Kevin Seraphin.” Rumor has it, that’s where Snakey went. Yuck.


(via Damian Garde)

Rudy Gay blames O.J. Mayo’s weight gain on living in Wisconsin

, on March 24, 2014 , 4:30PM

oj mayo fat


Brace yourselves, because it’s time to read the greatest quote of this NBA season. It was said by Rudy Gay, it was about O.J. Mayo and it’s from Cowbell Kingdom:


He’s had a bad season, but he’s still a good player. He’s a little overweight, hasn’t played a lot this season, but he’s still O.J. Mayo in there and I’ve seen him do things like that all the time. So I wasn’t surprised at all. He can hit tough shots. He’s a ball player. He can do it. For whatever reason of how he turned out or whatever, gained a little weight, whatever, he’s still a good ball player.


Follow-up question: was Gay surprised to see a bigger Mayo?


Was I surprised to see it? Little bit. I haven’t seen him, but we talked a little bit. He said he was hurt, and I guess when you’re hurt in Wisconsin, you eat.


Emphasis mine, so you can know what exactly is the best quote so far this season. I could be forgetting a legendary zinger, of course, but a startlingly accurate Wisconsin burn is near and dear to my heart. I challenge you to find a better quote than this from this season, and I also challenge you to disprove Rudy’s Eating in Milwaukee theory, which was only helped given the brutal winter the Midwest has endured. Hook it up in the comments if you prove either of these statements wrong.

LeBron James is getting his own Sprite flavor

, on March 19, 2014 , 4:30PM

lebron pop


You know when you’ve really made it as an NBA player? It’s not when you get on TV or when you get a shoe deal, it’s not your first 20-point game or a buzzer-beating game-winner — no, my friends, it’s when you finally get your own drink.


Michael Jordan did it, 50 Cent did it, Shaq did it, and now LeBron is doing it. From ESPN:


Sprite announced on Wednesday that it would be releasing Sprite 6 Mix by LeBron James, a drink that features the traditional lemon-lime flavor with cherry and orange. The drink will be available nationwide for a limited time in 19.2-ounce cans and 20-ounce bottles.


“I never imagined I would have my own flavor someday,” James said in a statement. “I had a great time working with the Sprite team to turn my favorite flavors into a pretty cool variation of one of my favorite brands. I’m proud of what we created and I’m excited for my fans to try it.”


As a man who will try any Mountain Dew variation under the sun, I’m coming out as officially on board with this. And by that, I mean if I ever see this at a gas station randomly, I will try it, though I haven’t decided if I want to go with the travel size can or the barely-bigger bottle. It’s a tough choice.


But yeah, this is a huge look for LeBron. He’s got his own gum, he’s got his own pop, all he needs now is his own main course and sides. Might I recommend the LeBronlette for breakfast, a LBLT with some LeBroccoli and cheese soup for lunch, and a LeBrot roast with steamed LeBroccoli on the side? Seems like a good start, though I’m sure you can figure out something besides broccoli to make in to a LeBron James product.

Video: LeBron, Bosh and Michelle Obama videobomb Spoelstra’s healthy eating pitch

, on January 21, 2014 , 9:30AM


Not only is this hilarious — and not only is it even more obvious that the President should have used my Chris Bosh videobombing joke — but it finally explains all those apples. So basically, win-win, and also, how do you like those apples? Personally, I like them, though I know not everyone loves fruit.

The Starters TV Clips: A tour of Kevin Durant’s restaurant menu

, on December 19, 2013 , 4:10PM


Do you like puns, food and basketball in equal amounts? Hope so, because we’ve got a whole bunch of all that stuff in this little jaunt through the ins and outs of the menu at Kevin Durant’s new restaurant. Tasty.


Enjoy it!

‘I’ma Bring My Own Chalupa,’ a song about the Blazers not giving away free Taco Bell

, on November 8, 2013 , 3:00PM


As we all know, NBA fans are pretty protective of free food given out by their hometown team. Remember all the drama the Raptors earning their fans some pizza caused? Way too much for anything involving pizza.


That’s why these kids, Feddy and Pip, have it figured out — now that the Portland Trail Blazers have ended their free chalupas promotion, these two are just going to bring their own chalupas. Problem solved.


Between this and Luke “Chalupa Master” Babbitt heading to play in Russia, I guess it’s a new chalupa era in Portland. Congratulations, everyone. Live mas.


(via Mike Poulson)



Video: Paul Pierce thinks the Nets are a soup

, on October 25, 2013 , 9:00AM


As Tristan Waldock said while recommending this video, “Apparently Truth has been learning his metaphor game from KG.” Because holy smokes is this Paul Pierce soup analogy on part with the Comcast On Demand and cooking rants that Kevin Garnett has gone on in the past.


Or maybe he’s just been attending KG’s dinner parties. I mean, they’re going in to their seventh season together, so I’m guessing they’ve shared more than a few meals. And if that’s the case, they must have talked recipes at some point.


How else can you explain two long-time teammates making the same sort of comparison in two different cities about two different teams besides assuming that a few of their kitchen conversations have bled over in to their professional lives? Nothing else makes nearly as much sense. Don’t forget the salt.

Old age has forced Jason Terry to change his chicken fingers habit

, on October 24, 2013 , 12:30PM



We’ve known about Jason Terry and his silly superstitions for a long time now. There are stories about his high socks, headbands and chicken fingers online from at least 2008, but I remember hearing about this stuff back when he was in college 65 years ago.


Nonetheless, the fascination with his superstitious behavior continues, going so far as to show up in the New York Times. And though there’s not a ton of new information in there that we haven’t heard, there is a certain revelation that’s going to make you feel as old as Jason Terry is if you’ve been following his superstitions for as long as I have.


He has made other subtle changes over time, too. During the national championship run at Arizona, he ate chicken fingers before every game. But as he continued as a professional, his age and metabolism necessitated a move away from fried foods. He eats grilled or rotisserie chicken now, maintaining the old rituals’ spirit.


“I can’t deviate from chicken,” Terry said. “It has to be chicken.”


Dag. I guess this is growing up. When you’re in your mid-30s, I guess you have to switch from fried to grilled/rotisserie chicken. Satchel Paige knows what’s up. No one wants angry blood.


Health is important, obviously. Think about how many players we’ve seen that have seen their careers improve after slimming down and stepping their health game up. That kind of stuff makes a difference. Plus, I’m sure his teammates will appreciate him not destroying the toilet fried food-style right before every game. If only Toni Kukoc had Jason Terry’s nutritionist.