Juan Toscano-Anderson grew up in deep East Oakland in the shadow of Oracle Arena. He knew plenty about Steph Curry and Draymond Green’s championship exploits before becoming their teammates.
Now that he’s suiting up with the vets and holdovers from the Warriors' dynasty, Toscano-Anderson said he feels an obligation to perform up to their title-winning standards.
“I’m always trying to go out and play at a high level every time I step on that floor,” Toscano-Anderson told reporters during Sunday’s video press conference. “I think having those guys on the floor, there’s a standard that they expect. They just bring that intensity.”
Toscano-Anderson is in his second season and playing on a two-way contract, but obviously craves a guaranteed contract. He’s made an impact at times as a versatile defender and high-energy player off the bench, drawing comparisons to Green.
Toscano-Anderson said Green and Curry have different ways of teaching lessons.
“A guy like Draymond, he’s vocal, he brings that intensity,” Toscano-Anderson said. “He’s going to let you know where he wants you to be. If you’re messing up or whatever, he’s going to let you know. Steph, I mean, he out there hoopin’. You gotta get with him or get lost.”
In 31 games this season, Toscano-Anderson is averaging 5.2 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 55.7 percent from the field and 43.8 percent from 3-point range. He is expected to have his contract upgraded and fill one of the full-time roster spots vacated by the trades of Brad Wanamaker and Marquese Chriss at the deadline.
The Warriors (22-24) are mired in a four-game slide and currently sit in the 10th seed in the Western Conference, which would put them in the play-in round. Gone are the days of finding Golden State as the No. 1 seed on a daily basis, but that’s where Curry and Green are still trying to carry the franchise.
“You got to come with it every night,” Toscano-Anderson said. “They’re championship-caliber players. They’re guys that, when they put on their jersey, they’re trying to get to the championship. They’re not just trying to make the playoffs, they’re not just trying to be a competitive team.
“They have high standards for themselves and their teams that they’re leading. At least for myself, I want to meet them at that level.”