Thanks to a Google mix-up, a wild rumor spread through the NBA that a 13-year journeyman who’s made $81 million was actually a billionaire

Jose Calderon has been baffled by the rumor that he's a billionaire.

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Jose Calderon has been baffled by the rumor that he’s a billionaire.
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Mike Lawrie/Getty

  • A mix-up on Google labeled Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jose Calderon as having a stake in a bottling company for Coca-Cola and having a $2.2 billion net worth.
  • The rumor spread around the internet and eventually into the NBA, where the Cavs and other players have relentlessly teased Calderon, as detailed in an ESPN report.
  • Despite Calderon’s insistence that the information is not accurate, the Cavs are skeptical and have reportedly forced things like dinner checks onto him.

Jose Calderon has done well for himself in his 13-year NBA career, earning $81 million, according to Basketball-Reference.

A mix-up on Google, however, listed Calderon with a $2.2 billion net worth, confusing him for Jose and Francisco Jose Calderon Rojas, two Mexican brothers whose father owns a stake in Femsa, a bottling company for Coca-Cola.

Despite the mistake and Calderon’s insistence that he is not a billionaire, the rumor has become a constant source of humor for the Cleveland Cavaliers and widespread gossip around the NBA, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

The rumor, which made its way around the internet, was apparently first discovered within the Cavs by the Los Angeles Lakers big man Channing Frye while he was still in Cleveland. Once Frye made the team aware, it was all downhill for Calderon.

“Everybody was talking about that,” Cavs rookie Cedi Osman told McMenamin. “Everybody. EVERYBODY. He makes a play, and it’s like, ‘Nice job, man … $2.2 billion … that’s great.'”

“I wish I could say, ‘Yeah, it is true …’ But, no, no, no. No, it’s not,” Calderon said.

LeBron James is one of several players who called it a “joke” but also said the team did not know for sure whether it was untrue. He said at a team dinner, Frye once passed the check to Calderon.

Others around the NBA have picked up on it, too. Calderon told McMenamin that during a game against the New York Knicks, guards Courtney Lee and Jarrett Jack asked him about it.

“‘Everybody’s been talking,'” Calderon remembered Jack saying. “‘It’s true. The $2.2 billion. It’s true.'”

According to McMenamin, the Google error has since been fixed. McMenamin explained that Google’s algorithm occasionally pulls from shoddy resources to create the “one-boxes,” the text at the top of the search that displays information about the searched subject. Calderon expressed confusion to McMenamin about how the rest of the information on Google was correct except for his net worth.

“I straight up asked him,” Cavs forward Jeff Green said. “And did he give me a straight response? No. Do I believe that he is? Maybe. I don’t know.”

“I’m doing OK for myself,” James told McMenamin. “But listen, I heard what he has going on, so there will be some conversations.”

“I don’t have family in Mexico,” Calderon said. “Nothing. I’m just from Spain. It’s a totally different guy.”