Juan Toscano-Anderson was wrapping up his freshman season with Marquette University when his hometown Warriors traded Monta Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2012.
At that point, Steph Curry was still finding his footing, both literally and figuratively, as he was still working past his reputation as a great shooter with faulty ankles.
Now Toscano-Anderson is reaping the benefits of playing with Curry, who often attracts multiple defenders and leaves others open for easy buckets.
“I’ll be honest, when the Warriors traded Monta Ellis, I was kind of salty,” Toscano-Anderson said after Tuesday's win over the Spurs. “Just to be able to watch [Curry] develop and become a superstar, like a real superstar ... I’ve never seen anyone play the game like he does. I’m just really enjoying these moments.”
Toscano-Anderson, an East Oakland native, wasn’t the only salty one.
Warriors fans famously booed CEO Joe Lacob at Oracle Arena in 2012 at Chris Mullin’s on-court jersey retirement a few days after the Ellis trade. Andrew Bogut, the centerpiece of the Warriors’ return, was injured and Ellis was a fan favorite. But Bogut ended up being a key part of Golden State’s championship run in 2015, with Toscano-Anderson rooting for the Dubs the whole way.
Curry ended up OK, too.
On Tuesday, Curry dropped 32 points and delivered some more mesmerizing highlights as he continues to play at an MVP-type level. Defenses can’t help but pay some extra attention to Curry, which often allows would-be screeners to be forgotten and roll to the hoop with ease.
Toscano-Anderson said he feels privileged to be playing with an all-time great like Steph. The easy buckets don’t hurt either.
“He’s a magnet, man,” Toscano-Anderson said. “It’s a great opportunity to play with him. I know people who played with [Michael Jordan] back in the day or [Kobe Bryant] back in the day, they don’t take those things for granted.
“[Curry] gets a little bit of space, he’s going to do whatever he wants with the ball. It’s easy to play with a guy like that. He demands so much attention from the opposing defense.”
Toscano-Anderson finished his night with 11 points and eight rebounds in 27 minutes of play as he continues to get a bigger role in James Wiseman’s absence.
He also got a front-row seat to another night of Curry magic.
“It’s funny to say, he’s out there putting on a show not only for viewers, but also for us who are out there playing with him and watching him,” Toscano-Anderson said. “It’s really cool to watch.”