Juan Toscano-Anderson 'forever thankful' to Warriors, ready for what's next

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Oakland 'legend' JTA explains emotions on likely leaving Dubs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Juan Toscano-Anderson’s heartwarming story with the Warriors is coming to an end, but his legacy in the Bay will remain forever.

After The Athletic’s Anthony Slater reported, citing sources, that Golden State wasn't extending a qualifying offer to Toscano-Anderson, the 29-year-old Oakland native opened up to The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson II in response to the news.

“I got a championship with my hometown team,” Toscano-Anderson told Thompson in a phone interview Wednesday night.

“I’m stamped in the Town. I’m stamped in my country. That s--t can’t nobody take from me. You’ve got to give a little to get a little. And I gave up playing time to, you know, become a legend. I’m a legend in the Town. I’m a legend in Mexico. And I’m not saying that myself. It’s showing, know what I mean?”

Toscano-Anderson grew up off 95th Street in East Oakland and was a die-hard Warriors fan. Years later, the 6-foot-6 forward won a championship with the team he grew up watching.

But the journey wasn’t easy.

After going undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft, Toscano-Anderson played for multiple teams across South America and competed with the Mexico national team.

In 2018, Toscano-Anderson returned closer to home. He played with the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s G League affiliate, until 2020.

And in February 2020, Toscano-Anderson became a Golden State Warrior, where he got to play for his childhood team and two years later win a ring with them -- all while sporting the number of the hood that raised him across his chest.

Toscano-Anderson was an easy fan favorite. He’s an Oakland kid, his story was inspiring and he did everything in his blood to represent both the Bay Area and his Mexican roots.

But as they say, all good things must come to an end.

It was originally believed that the Warriors would try to bring back Toscano-Anderson, who was in the final year of a two-year deal.

But according to the San Francisco Chronicle's Connor Letourneau, a roster crunch and financial concerns resulted in the Warriors letting him become an unrestricted free agent.

RELATED: Report: Lakers interested in Porter, other Warriors free agents

“At the end of the day, some of those things are out of my control,” Toscano-Anderson told Thompson. “I ain’t gon’ say I was unhappy about it. I know that I’m better than that. But it is what it is. It’s the way the cards fell. And, you know, I’m lucky to have a job, man. Gratitude. That’s what I wake up and remind myself of every day. Just be grateful that I have a job.”

Toscano-Anderson has the talent and championship experience that could suit well with many teams, not to mention his hustle and grinding mindset that could help younger players.

Some of those teams, Thompson II notes, are the Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Brooklyn Nets, Sacramento Kings, Portland Trailblazers, Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards, among others. His agent Erika Ruiz confirmed to Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes on Thursday, however, that Toscano-Anderson agreed to a deal to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.

“In a perfect world, I would have loved to stay home and stay with this team," Toscano-Anderson told Thompson II. "It ain’t even about the Warriors. It’s about that locker room. That locker room is incredible. And that starts from the top down. Playing with No. 30, No. 23, No. 11, that’s an incredible experience.

"This is deeper than just playing for the Warriors. Wherever I go, I hope I find something similar — which I understand is gonna be hard to match. I just wish people understood what that locker room’s like. It was a hell of a time. When I get the opportunity to compete and show what I can do, then I’ma do that.”

As Toscano-Anderson begins a new journey in Southern California, Dub Nation will always love him from afar.

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