Alex Didion

What Steph Curry's protest appearance meant to Juan Toscano-Anderson

What Steph Curry's protest appearance meant to Juan Toscano-Anderson

Juan Toscano-Anderson has taken initiative in light of the recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis Police custody, and has tried to rally fellow NBA players into joining him and supporting the cause of fighting systemic racism and police brutality in the United States.

Joining the Oakland native and Warriors wing at peaceful protests on Wednesday were teammates Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevon Looney and Damion Lee. Toscano-Anderson chatted with NBC Sports Bay Area’s Logan Murdock while marching in Oakland, and talked about the impact of having NBA stars like Curry and Thompson walking alongside him and supporting this movement.

“It meant a lot just because I know someone in my work profession has my back,” Toscano-Anderson said. “I know it’s tough when you in a position like Steph’s, I don’t want to say it’s hard but it's a thin line you have to watch where you walk. It definitely made me feel good to see somebody of his caliber and his notoriety here. It’s a pretty cool feeling.”

[RELATED: Warriors owners release powerful statement on improving race relations]

Toscano-Anderson helped organize the Walking in Unity event, centered around Lake Merritt near downtown Oakland.

"If Steph asked me to run through a wall for him, I will now. He showed me he's got my back and I've got his back," Toscano-Anderson told 95.7 The Game Wednesday following the protest.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Why Warriors could benefit from unique 2019-20 NBA season calendar

Why Warriors could benefit from unique 2019-20 NBA season calendar

The NBA’s calendar completely has been thrown out in light of the coronavirus pandemic since Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert’s diagnosis on March 11, which put the 2019-20 NBA season on an indefinite hiatus.

The Warriors held the league’s worst record at the stoppage (15-50), and will not be among the 22 teams returning to action later this summer in Orlando. But The Action Network’s Matt Moore believes the upside-down NBA calendar will end up playing to the Warriors’ benefit.

After five straight runs to the NBA Finals (an extra 105 playoff games), Golden State’s roster will get nine months of rest before the league’s ideal start date sometime in December. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, who played a combined five games this season, will get additional time to heal and return to peak physical condition.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Warriors’ Western Conference rivals will be dealing with the aftermath of the stress from playing neutral-site games on the other side of the country for multiple months, and they won’t have a long layoff before training camps are expected to open, either.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Golden State also has the best odds of any team in the upcoming NBA Draft Lottery, which just was rescheduled for Aug. 25. The Warriors have a 52 percent chance at a top-four draft pick and will be able to pair an uber-talented young player with a healthy Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green.

Then there’s the unrelenting lust Warriors fans -- and, reportedly, the front office -- have for reigning NBA MVP Giannis Anteotokounmpo. If the Milwaukee Bucks come up short of a title in this strange, Disney-hosted NBA Playoffs, Giannis could reach his breaking point with the organization after seven seasons without a single appearance in the NBA Finals.

The Warriors could dangle Green, Andrew Wiggins and potentially the No. 1 overall pick, something not many teams around the NBA could match. Plus if (and this is a pretty big if) Giannis goes to Milwaukee management and demands a trade to just the Warriors, the Bucks’ front office wouldn’t have much choice in the matter. He’s made no indication of wanting to leave Milwaukee, but things can change very quickly in the NBA.

[RELATED: Steve Kerr, Warriors need more time to prepare for 2020 NBA Draft]

Finally, there’s the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement, which should be in place before the start of next season. Moore cites league sources as interpreting the details potentially working out very well for the Warriors. With an easing of luxury-tax penalties, potentially “smoothing” salary cap implications over several seasons and a severe cut to revenue sharing, Golden State won’t be hit nearly as hard by these guidelines as many other small-market teams. The salary cap will decrease, but so will the ramifications for exceeding it.

An extended offseason, very favorable NBA Draft Lottery odds, the potential trade capital to land a superstar and a new CBA all stand to improve the Warriors' chances at a championship in 2020-21.

This isn’t to say that Golden State won’t be impacted by the economic impact of the coronavirus shutdown, just like the rest of the country, but the circumstances of the NBA’s return absolutely are advantageous for the organization going into next season.

49ers' George Kittle reveals which NFL players are toughest to block

49ers' George Kittle reveals which NFL players are toughest to block

George Kittle has never kept his love for run-blocking a secret. Any opportunity to drive a defender into the turf is embraced by the 49ers tight end the same way kids greet the arrival of Christmas morning.

During a recent appearance on the “Bussin’ With The Boys” podcast with fellow NFL players Will Compton and Taylor Lewan, Kittle revealed two blocking assignments he doesn’t exactly live for.

“Khalil Mack’s tough,” Kittle said. “He’s pretty good. (Jadeveon) Clowney is pretty good too.”

Kittle and Mack faced off late in the 2018 season, during a low-scoring dogfight at Levi’s Stadium between the 49ers and Chicago Bears. Mack got three hits in on quarterback Nick Mullens, but didn’t end up with a sack among his five tackles.

[RELATED: Ranking top 49ers plays in franchise's storied history: No. 5-1]

Clowney was a difficult assignment for the Niners in both matchups last season, although Kittle was inactive for the Seattle Seahawks’ win on "Monday Night Football" in Week 10.

The current free agent had six tackles and five QB hits over those two games against San Francisco, not to mention scoring one of his two touchdowns on the season after scooping up a fumble.

Mack and Kittle could face off when the 49ers and Bears meet during the 2020 preseason on Aug. 29, but it remains to be seen where Clowney will wind up signing in free agency. 

Some have even postulated he could be a fit for the 49ers, if no team is willing to meet a reportedly exorbitant asking price.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]