Juan Toscano-Anderson went from watching the Golden State Warriors to playing for them
It must be even bigger to know that the Warriors have been questioned more than ever. What defines this year’s version of the team compared to previous years when players like Kevin Durant played in the Bay?
I think those early Warriors teams kind of spoiled Warriors fans. I say this as a lifelong Warriors fan. It’s not regular, you know. Reaching the final, getting there several years in a row, is not regular. Winning that many championships is not the norm. Warriors fans have been a bit spoiled. That’s not to say anything bad about Warriors fans – they just got used to earning it. Those are big shoes to fill, ’16, ’17, ’18 teams. All these guys were veterans, they were stamped in this league. Now we have a team with guys who are trying to, you know, revive their careers. Or improve after injuries, like Otto [Porter Jr.]. Wigg [Andrew Wiggins] also tries to overcome a hump – there are people who say he is overrated. Then you have GP II [Gary Payton]myself, D Lee [Damion Lee], all of whom have been trying to make it into the league for so long. We just have a lot of guys with individual goals and journeys to run and manage. Watch GP. He’s been trying to break into the league for seven years and he’s finally found a home that’s allowed him to thrive. It’s nice to see, man. That says a lot about our depth and how the Warriors are developing their talent. They have an eye for it and gave us all an opportunity.
You also share the locker room with some of the best players in the history of the sport. What game did you absorb hanging out with guys like Steph, Draymond, Klay and Iggy?
Every game is different, bro. I think what was most important was the playoffs. It’s my first time here. Just watch guys like Draymond take his approach to the next level. His attention to detail and his attitude towards the playoffs are totally different. He’s super locked in a different way in how he approaches each game. I realize it now.
And off the field?
For me, I learned to accept criticism by watching it. Fans talk shit to everyone including Steph, Draymond, Klay. So who am I to think the fans won’t say anything about me? That’s something I really admire about these guys. They just approach the game with grandeur. Everything from how they present themselves in this profession to the people they have around them. They handle it all well and carry themselves to a different level. It’s the basketball championship. These guys are all future Hall of Famers. They act and work like that every day.
Yeah, it’s crazy how so many people talk wildly about Steph.
[Laughs] Yeah, that’s crazy. But you know people will say anything.
And the younger ones? How did he observe players like Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga and James Wiseman during their development?