Oakland ‘legend’ JTA explains emotions leaving Dubs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
After The Athletic’s Anthony Slater reportedCiting sources that Golden State is not extending a qualifying offer to Toscano-Anderson, the 29-year-old Oakland native opened up to The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson II in response to the news.
“I won a championship with my home team”, Toscano-Anderson told Thompson II in a telephone interview Wednesday evening.
‘I am stamped in the city. I am stamped in my country. No one can take that from me. You have to give a little to get a little. And I gave up playing time to, you know, become a legend. I am a legend in the city. I am a legend in Mexico. And I’m not saying that myself. It shows, you know what I mean?”
Growing up on 95th Street in East Oakland, JTA was a die-hard Warriors fan. Years later, the 6-foot-6 forward won a championship with the team he grew up on.
But the journey was not easy.
After Toscano-Anderson was not listed in the 2015 NBA Draft, he played for multiple teams in South America and was part of the Mexico national team.
In 2018, Toscano-Anderson returned closer to home. He played with the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s G League affiliate, until 2020.
And in February 2020, Toscano-Anderson became a Golden State Warrior, playing for his youth team and winning a ring with them two years later — all while wearing the hood number that wore it on his chest.
JTA was an easy fan favorite. He is an Oakland boy, his story was inspiring and he went out of his way to represent both the Bay Area and his Mexican roots.
But as they say, all good things come to an end.
It was originally believed the Warriors would try to bring back Toscano-Anderson, who was in the final year of a two-year deal.
But according to Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle, a tight roster and financial concerns allowed the Warriors to let him become an unrestricted free agent.
“Eventually I have some of those things out of my control,” Toscano-Anderson told Thompson II. “I’m not going to say I wasn’t happy about it. I know I’m better than that. But it is what it is. It’s the way the cards fell. And, you know, I’m lucky to have a job, man. Gratitude. That’s what wakes me up every day and reminds myself. Just be thankful I have a job.”
Toscano-Anderson has the talent and championship experience that would suit many teams, not to mention his rushed mentality which could help younger players.
Some of those teams, Thompson II notes, include the Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Brooklyn Nets, Sacramento Kings, Portland Trailblazers, Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Hornets, and Washington Wizards.
“In a perfect world, I would have loved to have stayed home and stayed with this team,” Toscano-Anderson told Thompson II. “It’s not even about the Warriors. It’s about that locker room. That locker room is incredible. And it starts from the top down. Playing No. 30, No. 23, No. 11, that’s an incredible experience.
“This goes deeper than just playing for the Warriors. Wherever I go I hope I find something similar – which I understand will be hard to match. I wish people understood what that locker room looks like. It was an amazing time If I get the chance to compete and show what I can do, I will.”
Wherever Toscano-Anderson lands, Dub Nation will always love him from afar.