Warriors Swingman Sounds Off on Lack of Playing Time


The resurgent Golden State Warriors are tearing through the NBA and just about everybody is enjoying the ride. But all the success appears to have left one player behind.

Dubs swingman Juan Toscano-Anderson was a big part of Golden State’s stretch run last season, slapping the floor against the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant, and bringing a defensive grit that proved a key component in a playoff push that fell an overtime period short of realization.

But this year is a different story. New additions like Nemanja Bejelica and Otto Porter Jr., as well as the emergence of Gary Payton II and the arrival of rookie Jonathan Kuminga have eaten up minutes that once belonged to Toscano-Anderson. However, his attitude on developments robbing him of floor time may come as a surprise to those who don’t understand how he got to the Warriors’ sideline in the first place.

Toscano-Anderson Breaks Silence on Loss of Playing Time


GettyGolden State Warriors shooting guard Juan Toscano-Anderson and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James during a game on May 19.

Anthony Slater, of The Athletic, posted video of an interview with Toscano-Anderson following Golden State’s victory over the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Thursday, November 18 — a higher end game for the swingman in terms of playing time this year, during which he saw 16 minutes on the court.

“I think the only difficult part is just having the desire to play. I love this game. This is my life right here. I put so much effort and, you know, emotion into this game, so I just always want to play,” Toscano-Anderson said. “But at the end of the day, I’m an adult and I’m understanding of what my job and what my role is on this team, and I’m accepting of it. I could sit here and pout about it, but what good is that gonna do?”

“It’s all about perspective man,” he continued. “I could be anywhere else in the world, I could be on any other team. I could be on a losing team. S***, I could be back in the G League. But I’m on the best team in the NBA, my hometown team, I get to play with Hall of Famers. Perspective, man.”

Toscano-Anderson has Navigated Tougher Stretches in Pro Career

Juan Toscano-Anderson

GettyKevin Durant, of the Brooklyn Nets, catches a pass as Juan Toscano-Anderson, of the Golden State Warriors, defends during the first half of a game at Barclays Center.

Toscano-Anderson’s ascent was similar to that of his teammate Payton’s, toiling mostly in lesser leagues for years while trying to break into the NBA.

He finally did so two seasons past, appearing in 13 games and making six starts for the Warriors in a season that saw Klay Thompson miss every game due to a torn ACL and Steph Curry sidelined after only five contests with a broken hand.

Toscano-Anderson showed enough to stay on with the Dubs as part of the follow-up campaign, during which things were quite different. Golden State was competitive all last season with Curry running the show, and Toscano-Anderson played a big role in his team’s success. He averaged 5.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 0.8 steals per game, according to Basketball Reference, often while drawing one of the toughest defensive matchups opponents’ could provide.

The now 28-year-old played in 53 games and earned 16 starts last year, recording 20.9 minutes per contest as a crucial contributor. But this year those minutes have been cut almost in half to 12.1 per game, as the Warriors boast one of the deepest rosters in the NBA.

Playing time will be even harder to come by in the months ahead due to the expected return of Thompson and second-year center James Wiseman, both of whom will garner starter-level minutes before too long.

Toscano-Anderson has notched 20 minutes of floor time just once this season, playing fewer than 10 minutes five times and registering one DNP (did not play) by coach’s decision over the course of 15 regular season games. But by his own words, the Warriors’ upstart swingman will not be deterred. And by his own actions, Toscano-Anderson has proven he’ll be ready when called upon.

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