Warriors' Toscano-Anderson Signing Could Inspire More Mexican Players
One of the NBA's "biggest obstacles in recent years was that it didn't have a Mexican player for fans to cheer," but that "changed this month," when the Warriors signed F Juan Toscano-Anderson, according to Connor Letourneau of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Toscano-Anderson is the NBA's "first player of Mexican descent" since Jorge Gutierrez, who made his final appearance with the Hornets in '16. Soccer has "long been Mexico's most popular sport by a wide margin, but basketball is beginning to gain traction." In an effort to "tap into the Mexican and Latino markets," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has "brought NBA games to Mexico City, built a youth development academy there and announced plans to establish a G League team there next season." But Silver "recognizes that, for basketball to come close to rivaling soccer in popularity, Mexicans must be able to root for players who look like them." Since Toscano-Anderson signed with the Warriors, he has "received daily messages on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook from Mexican-born or Mexican American players with NBA ambitions" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/20). TNT's Kristen Ledlow said Toscano-Anderson in Mexico is "kind of what" Warriors G Stephen Curry is like in the U.S. TNT's Reggie Miller jokingly said, "Who says Toscano-Anderson was the Steph Curry of Mexico basketball? I need names" ("Rockets-Warriors," TNT, 2/20).