Jose Manuel Calderón


José Calderón is a star both on and off the basketball court. 

His 14 year career in the NBA included a run at the NBA Finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018, and three Olympic medals. He still currently holds the record for the highest free throw percentage in an NBA season at 98.1%.

After retiring in 2019, Calderón successfully transitioned his career off the court by securing roles including Player Advisor with the NBA Players Association, Front Office Advisor for the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise, and Global Advisor for a large tech company. 

He is also an active investor in multiple tech startups and an ambassador for many brands that align with his commitment to being involved in helping to make the world a better place. He counts humility and sacrifice as the two most important factors that have stuck with him throughout his career, along with honesty, effort, passion and empathy.

The combination of Calderón’s burning curiosity, commitment to educating himself, and mentoring has helped him gain valuable business experience. Keenly aware of the importance of being prepared for his next chapter, Calderón pursued certifications including the ‘Harvard Crossover Into Business Program’, which has made his transition from the court to the boardroom that much smoother.

Calderón’s experiences and his own business method encourages preparation, surrounding yourself with the right people, and embracing the athlete network as a resource.

What did you learn through sports that helped you thrive in the business world? And how did it prepare you?

There is one big part that you sometimes learn sometimes without knowing - work as a team, understand your role, and accept feedback. All of this happens daily in any sector.

What are you doing today that you would love our athlete network to know about (current projects/partnerships etc.)?

I'm doing a lot of things! The reason is because I want to keep exploring different opportunities, learn from them and see which ones I like the most or where I can help the most. I work in the front office with the Cleveland Cavaliers, I'm a Global Advisor at Sngular and a talk show host for UNIQ, a radio station in Spain. I have my own foundation and also serve as a Brand Ambassador for Unicef, plus I’m actively involved with all my investments.

What advice would you give our Uru athlete community as they're looking for 'What's next?' and seeking to build meaningful careers off the field?

Keep learning and knowing what you like the most. Keep connecting with people and listen to others who did it before you. But the most important thing is to really enjoy what you doing and try to find new challenges.

Why are you excited about Uru's mission and what made you get involved?

Because Uru is helping athletes. We athletes sacrifice a lot to pursue a dream, and we know what sacrifice and teamwork mean. Being part of this community is great.

Listen to more of Calderón’s story, plus his insights/tips on his podcast episode ‘Adjusting To New Roles’ here.