Saturday night was special for Aaron "Showtime" Taylor. After 26 years in prison, he was living out his dream. He was the guest PA announcer for the Golden State Warriors, calling out names like Steph Curry and Draymond Green — a far cry from his days calling games in San Quentin.
After calling the game, Taylor shared a special moment with Curry. Even though Curry was named the player of the game, it was Taylor who was on the mic during the postgame interview.
Showtime's journey to the mic
In an in-depth interview with Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic, Taylor, 55, revealed his life story. He went to prison in 1994 for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon after trying to rob a furniture store. Taylor was shot in the face during the attempted robbery, surviving only because he chose that moment to turn his head.
In prison, Taylor kicked drugs and fully embraced Islam. He learned how to read and write Arabic, mentored other prisoners, and became known as "the hip-hop imam" for the rhythm of his prayers during worship. He also started calling basketball games while just watching on the sidelines. According to Thompson, Taylor got the nickname Showtime because "the games didn’t matter until he got on the mic."
The Warriors discovered Taylor eight years ago, during one of their annual trips to play the San Quentin basketball team. Then-head coach Mark Jackson, himself a former broadcaster, identified Taylor as a legit talent, and then the thought of being a broadcaster started percolating in his head.
After he was released, he started contacting sports people who he'd connected with while he was in prison. A month later, he was calling games for the Venice Beach League and the American Basketball Association. Then the Warriors came calling in an early March email that Taylor didn't really believe was real.
It was real, and the Warriors may only be an early stop on what Taylor hopes will be a long career in broadcasting.
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