Warriors: Toscano-Anderson shares trophy moment with Mexican president

Oakland native Juan Toscano-Anderson’s connection to the Bay Area fanbase is strong because of his hometown roots. But he also means a great deal to many people thousands of miles from the Warriors’ home at Chase Center.

Toscano-Anderson, 29, became just the second known player of Mexican descent to win the NBA Finals when the Warriors clinched a series victory over the Celtics in Boston nearly two weeks ago.

He took the Larry O’Brien Trophy south of the border for a visit with Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who shared a video of their exchange Monday.

“It’s an honor to represent Mexicans at the highest level in the world. The truth is there are no words. I feel nervous but happy to be here with you,” Toscano-Anderson told López Obrador in Spanish as the two held the trophy together.

López Obrador spoke to the pride Toscano-Anderson takes in his Mexican heritage. It was on display during the Warriors’ championship parade last week, when he interacted with fans waving Mexican flags and waved one of his own. Toscano-Anderson also wore a custom Warriors jersey for the dunk contest this February featuring the three colors of the Mexican flag.

“This man is a player of that outstanding team that gave us a lot of pride because he came out with the flag of our country,” López Obrador said. “He does not forget the origin of his family. And we appreciate that very much, Juan. Greetings to all your Mexican relatives.”

Only Mark Aguirre, whose father was from Mexico, preceded Toscano-Anderson as a Mexican-American NBA champion, winning the 1989 and 1990 titles with the Detroit Pistons.

Of course, Toscano-Anderson’s connection to the country goes beyond his heritage. He played four seasons in Mexico between clubs Soles de Mexicali and Fuerza Regia de Monterrey after going undrafted out of college in 2015. He caught on with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the G League and parlayed that into a two-year NBA contract with Golden State.

He’ll be an unrestricted free agent when that deal expires later this week, meaning it is possible he’ll sign somewhere other than the Bay Area if another team offers him a better deal or more playing time. But whether he stays with the Warriors or goes elsewhere, he’ll have a whole country behind him.

“I love Mexico, I love all the people of Mexico,” Toscano-Anderson said to close the video. “Thanks for your support, and viva Mexico.”

Contributed by local news sources

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