Warriors

Why Kerr calls Warriors forward JTA 'natural leader'

Warriors

After beginning the 2020-21 NBA season as a two-way player, Juan Toscano-Anderson has played a vital role for the Warriors over the past few weeks, starting the past six games at power forward as injuries decimated the team's frontcourt depth.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr loves what he's seeing from Toscano-Anderson this year, and spoke about his impact on the Warriors' roster.

"He's a very confident, energetic person," Kerr told reporters before Monday night's game. "That's reflected in the way he plays."

Kerr also cited a quote from NBA legend Bill Walton to sum up how Toscano-Anderson demonstrates his personality through his play on the court.

"Something like people play basketball the way they live their life, and I think that's really accurate," Kerr explained. "You can see what a guy is about, you can see who he is by watching him play basketball, and the way he plays basketball is energetically, smartly, he does it in a manner that sort of weaves everybody together, he really ties a lot of groups together.

"Almost every lineup that we put him in, that lineup performs well. So, he's just a natural leader, people tend to perk up when he's part of the group, and I saw that in the offseason too with some of the social protest examples you mentioned."

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Toscano-Anderson is a native of Oakland, and led multiple marches during the offseason to promote unity in the fight against social injustice.

The 6-foot-6 forward showed some impressive growth in Saturday night's loss to the Brooklyn Nets, doing an excellent job defending MVP candidate Kevin Durant.

 

Toscano-Anderson still is hoping to earn a guaranteed contract from the Warriors, but his coach clearly has noticed the impact he has had on the team this season, and that could bode well for his future prospects with the organization. 

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