SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – When Aaron Taylor was paroled from San Quentin prison after serving 26 years for armed robbery, he had no doubts about his next steps.
“I told them that I was gonna be in the NBA in 3-5 years, One of the commissioners looked at me like, you really want to say this in the middle of a BPH? I’m like yeah, it’s on paper. You see it right there? Those are my post parole plans, this is something I’m going to do.”
Taylor was right. Well, partly. It didn’t take 3-5 years. Less than six months after his release from prison, Taylor was sitting on the sidelines at Chase Center, as a guest PA announcer for the Warriors.
“I’m going through my phone, and I see this one that says ‘Chase Center,’ I’m like what is this? I open it up, and there it is, from Raymond Ridder. It said, ‘Hey Aaron, my friend how you doing? I hope you’re well. We were wondering if you’d want to come up one day this season and do a PA announcing job.’ Are you crazy? Hell yeah, I want to do that, man, it’s the NBA!”
Long before the Warriors came calling, the guy fellow inmates called ‘Showtime’ was preparing for this moment.
The LA native who idolized legendary Lakers play-by-play announcer Chick Hearn, honed his own unique style calling games in the prison yard.
“I think it was the second season that I did it, somebody came up and said, hey man, you sound just as good as those dudes on TV. And I actually thought about it, I wonder if I could do this when I get out?”
Fast forward a couple decades, and Taylor found himself alongside Steph Curry in a postgame interview, getting a celebratory shower from Kent Bazemore. But the best part for Taylor, was having his two nieces in the stands.
“My experience, it really doesn’t even count because the following generation was there, and they get to tell the next generation, I was there with your uncle when he made the Warriors.”
While Taylor chases his hoop dreams, with gigs calling games for the Venice Beach league and American Basketball Association, he knows he has another role that’s equally important. That’s as a voice for both current inmates, and the survivors of crimes they committed.
“I wanna put myself in that position where I’m speaking for both sides, in recognition that both sides need a voice.”
It’s a voice, that may soon be a household name in hoops.