Klay Thompson

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.

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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.

Ayesha, Steph Curry reflect on attending peaceful Oakland protest

Ayesha, Steph Curry reflect on attending peaceful Oakland protest

On Wednesday afternoon around Lake Merritt in Oakland, Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson organized a peaceful rally. Among those in attendance were teammates Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, who was joined by his wife, Ayesha.

The "Walking in Unity" event was held in protest against racial injustices and police brutality following the death of George Floyd. Floyd died while in the custody of Minneapolis law enforcement on May 25. 

The rally had a strong turnout, which you could see in the Currys' Instagram posts. 

The two reflected on it:

“Everybody play your role and be consistent with it. This is a real moment of change. Keep each other accountable,” Steph wrote.

He also called Toscano-Anderson a leader for organizing the event that showed so much love, support and awareness.

View this post on Instagram

Today was filled with many emotions. On one hand I was overwhelmed with happiness to see my community show up, yet again to fight for what is right. I witnessed people from all different backgrounds peacefully protesting. People out for a jog or walk noticing the crowd and putting their own needs on pause to join the cause and march with us. “The time is always right to do what’s right”(MLK) is what comes to mind. My happiness then became overshadowed with immense sadness and disbelief. I began to come to the realization that we were walking the same streets, the same path and course that we’ve taken time and time again for the championship parades. Celebrating “victory”... streets lined with hundreds of thousands of fans cheering on and congratulating many (and most) of whom are black men. People show up and show out for these moments. While I was appreciative and proud of the crowd that showed to march for justice today, I couldn’t help but wonder where all of these people were now , that just a few years before lined and covered the streets to celebrate in these black men’s successes. Now when black men, when black people need an assist, defense, a team... where is everyone? Where is everyone? I want to encourage everyone to show up however you can and keep showing up. Keep lining the streets, keep filling the feeds, keep informing your friends. We have the power to shift and change things. I promise you in this moment, right now... this is the victory and the celebration you want to be telling your children and your children’s children about. Lastly, please please please vote! We can protest, shout from the rooftops but the missing puzzle piece is the vote. Let’s do it!

A post shared by Ayesha Curry (@ayeshacurry) on

Ayesha posted photos of the march as well as a selfie of the couple, where she sported an “A Tribe Called Oakland” facemask. She also offered up some guidance.

[RELATED: Steph continues activism with police brutality protest]

“I want to encourage everyone to show up however you can and keep showing up. Keep lining the streets, keep filling the feeds, keep informing your friends. We have the power to shift and change things.”

Toscano-Anderson, who attended Castro Valley High School, took to social media to give a special thanks to those who showed up, specifically calling out his teammates and the Warriors organization for the support.

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