From playing in leagues across Latin America to playing in the G League and then in the NBA, former Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson has played alongside some of the most notable trash-talkers in the game.
The first person to ever talk smack to him in the NBA, though, was his own teammate. And the name shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
“When I first got to Golden State, I didn’t think Draymond liked me,” Juan Toscano-Anderson said on a recent episode of the “Buckets” podcast. “Me, I'm more like a quiet guy. I don't really f--k with nobody unless you f--k with me, but once you turn me up, I go from zero to 100 real fast.
“But I stay in my zone, I stay in my lane, I don't want no problems. I'm not looking for smoke, but I ain’t ducking no smoke, either. You know what I’m saying?”
Green is known for his outspoken nature, which typically has been a disadvantage for opposing teams and players. But when Toscano-Anderson first arrived at the Warriors facility in 2020, he wanted to allow his relationship with Green to form and flow organically.
“I ain’t forcing no relationships. We're going to be cool if we're going to be cool. If we not, we're here to work. So when I first got there, I didn’t really think he f--ked with me. He was talking s--t, I started talking s--t back to him, and I think he just kind of respected that because most people are intimidated by Draymond. I mean, he's Draymond Green. He talks s--t.
“A lot of people ain't built to talk s--t, first of all, and then second of all, a lot of people can’t back that s--t up. Me, I’m going to talk s--t, and I'm not afraid to get my ass whooped. So, I'm not saying you’re going to whoop my ass, but what I'm saying is I'm not afraid to fight. You know what I'm saying? I'm not afraid to cross that line.”
There aren't many players, especially his own teammates, that will talk back to Green. But Toscano-Anderson's fearlessness was something Green quickly appreciated.
And after the initial awkwardness, it didn't take long for the two outspoken players to decide to join forces.
"I just think it was more like why fight with you? We could fight together. … And that's when I was on my two-way year, the year I got the contract. I mean, it was me and him out there. He was the five, I was the four and it was rocking. It was a lot of fun. I had a lot of fun playing alongside him.
"He's going to have your back, he’s going to talk s--t. I'm going to talk s--t, I'm going to have his back, and I think that's why we hit it off is because we’re two peas in a pod, man. We’re very similar."
Toscano-Anderson and Green grew very close over the two seasons Toscano-Anderson wore a Warriors jersey, even sharing a bus together as they rode through the Warriors' latest championship parade. He also referred to Green as his "big bro," a term he said he doesn't use lightly and won't just throw at anyone.
Even though Toscano-Anderson rocks a Los Angeles Lakers jersey these days, the brotherhood created just across the bridge where he grew up remains.