Trey Kerby's Big Book of Basketball Facts has been in the making for centuries. It's a well-heeled work that exhaustively documents the lives (both pre-NBA and otherwise) of 102 pages-worth of NBA players. This book is astonishing. This book is your hero. And I have no idea why I was allowed to read this book for free.
I had to make a point to randomly select a player from Trey's list to quote from, because as someone who has seen parts of the book in its creation and who has bounded from page to page in the waking hours since downloading two days ago, I can safely assure you that these are just about all the same. Brilliant, that is, with a side of amazing. Here's Jose Calderon(notes):
Jose Calderon is the youngest of 14 sons. By birth order the Calderon goes Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose, Richard, Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose and Jose. Some speculate that Jose is a family name and they are probably right, though it is possible that Calderon's parents simply enjoyed their status as owner of Spain!s most successful Xerox retailer.
Calderon was born in Villanueve de la Serena to his copy crazy parents who had ignored Spanish lore that 14 children was way too many (this myth has been passed to many nations). But in Spain, it is more than just lore. It is law.
Spanish tradition dictates that any child born after the 13th in a family shall be deemed a ward of the state, and out of respect to the Spanish Foreign Legion, Calderon's mother did just that, taking Jose (the last one) to an orphanage after he!d been born. It was a tough choice, but she had seen some storyboards for Pan's Labyrinth in one of her copier stores and did not want to risk anything.
Forced to fend for himself in various orphanages, Calderon soon befriended fellow Spaniard Pau Gasol(notes) and his brother Marc on a neighborhood basketball court. This friendship proved fruitful as Calderon was able to glean a great deal of basketball knowledge from the Gasols and their family, while carefully ignoring their lax grooming practices. But still he wondered why there were so many men in his town who shared his name.
Like any junior detective, Calderon soon acted upon his curiosity and headed to his local consulate. There he found a surprising amount of records for "Jose Calderon," when he expected to just find his. As Calderon carefully examined the nearly-identical documents, he noticed one tiny inconsistency. On the birthdate line, a tiny hash mark had been made next to the date. Continuing through the records he soon determined that his record was the fourteenth and that he could easily find his birth parents and all of his brothers.
As he turned he noticed a small gang of people that had stealthily cornered him in the records room. Every single one of the people had Calderon's extra thick eyebrows and quickly embraced their lost son for a giant family hug. They had been waiting for him to check on his birth records for nearly 16 years and were glad that he'd finally triggered their sophisticated alarm. Unfortunately, the 11th Jose was crushed under the weight of the group embrace, which allowed NBA Jose to move back in with his family.
Beyond the tale of "NBA Jose" is a book worth a download and many, many laughs and so much of your time. Also, a donation, which I haven't exactly done yet but plan to real soon, because I have to take a Zantac for every new free page I click into.
Well done, Yert.
- Jose Calderon