Juan Toscano-Anderson left behind his childhood and the only NBA club he had ever known as he travelled six hours south from the Bay to Los Angeles.
The East Oakland native will return to Chase Center on Tuesday night for the Lakers-Warriors opening night game with a glittering championship ring on his finger and some fresh body art to flaunt.
This summer has seen a lot of changes, so JTA decided it was time for a new tattoo. The Larry O’Brien trophy was inked on the Lakers forward’s left forearm.
After Golden State didn’t extend a qualifying offer to Toscano-Anderson, he signed a one-year deal with the Lakers this offseason.
Although Toscano-Anderson will be rocking purple and gold this time around, he’ll never forget where he came from. A theme that’s been instilled in the 29-year-old forward’s brain for years, as he’s never been afraid to represent Oakland and the Bay.
He admitted it’s been different for his close friends and family to shift over from Dub Nation to the Lakers fandom, but in the end, family is everything. JTA called the return to Chase Center “bittersweet” but is thankful for maintaining his close relationships with all of his former teammates.
I mean, we’re family first. So they’re always going to root for me first and foremost, “Toscano-Anderson said. I don’t know if I can say this, but I’m still a Warriors fan. That’s my team growing up. I’m from Oakland. I’m loyal to my soil. Like I said, I’m still close with all the guys on that team.
“[I’m] still close with Kent Lacob, who gave me a chance in Santa Cruz. The relationships are never going to end just because we’re playing against each other. This game of basketball brings you together. I’m just going to cherish and nurture those relationships for the rest of my life. “
New ink this summer pic.twitter.com/QfiqEu43wc
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) October 18, 2022