Being prepared boosted Aaron “Showtime” Taylor from being a sports announcer inside San Quentin to doing the public address announcing at a game for the Golden State Warriors on April 10.
“I was prepared for the moment when I got the unexpected email from the Warriors organization,” said Taylor in a telephone interview. The Warriors organization put Taylor in a $300 a night hotel.
“Man, that bed was so comfortable,” Showtime said. “It felt way better than them hard bunks I used to sleep in at the prison,” he added, laughing.
Taylor perfected his skills announcing prison games during his nearly 26 years of incarceration for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.
In a television interview with ABC-7’s Larry Beil, he added, “I embraced much more than what I was. It was like a dream come true.”
Beil said that Showtime “raised the bar” and he pitched for Showtime to get hired as the PA of Ice Cube’s the BIG3, saying, “He would fit the BIG3 perfectly, for sure.”
Showtime said that he feels like the reincarnation of his idol, the legendary sports PA announcer Chick Hearn. There’s a big difference between being a PA for the professionals and doing it in prison.
Before entering the Chase Center, he had to go through the COVID protocols. Once he was inside, he felt like he was in his element. Yet, he said it was also “surreal” and described how he got emotional when Steph Curry came over and gave him a hug after the game and presented him with the game ball. After the post-game interview, another Warrior poured a bottle of water on Taylor’s head.
“It made me feel like I had made it.”
All the players and staff treated him like they had known him for years and when ex-Warrior Shaun Livingston gave him a compliment, it was a special moment.
“I was mic’d up by ESPN and they caught the exchange. I put it on my IG,” said Showtime. Russell Westbrook, an opposing player, gave Showtime the pair of shoes he played in that night.
Showtime’s play-by-play skills were perfected during the times the Golden State Warriors staff came to play the San Quentin Warriors. During the filming of the Q Ball documentary, Showtime captivated the eye of G-league General Manager Kent Lacob of the Santa Cruz Warriors.
“After the initial walk-in, Showtime was the first thing I noticed,” Lacob said in an interview with Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. “There was a setup with a microphone — he’s on the table, and, you know, at first I was like, Oh that’s cool. That’s funny that they have this whole setup. And then he starts doing it and I’m like, Damn, he’s good.”
He also caught the attention of Warriors Manager Bob Myers, player Draymond Green and former Warrior Kevin Durant, who produced the ESPY- nominated Q-Ball.
“I appreciate the Warriors for giving me the opportunity to fulfill my dream,” Showtime said.
He said that once he got out of prison, he was finally able to properly grieve his brother’s 2006 death.
“Because men in prison can’t express their emotions in that way without being considered weak,” he said.
Getting Starbucks coffee and eating lots of fried chicken are some of the things he enjoys doing. He said he’s determined to set a good example for his nieces and nephews by creating generational wealth for his family — something that is void from most Black families, he said.
Showtime is working multiple announcing jobs and interviews. He can be found on Instagram and his social media podcast.
“I represent y’all [the incarcerated],” he said. “Y’all are my inspiration, my drive and my reason to succeed. Laws are placed to prevent the incarcerated from apologizing to their victims. So, I will be the voice for the voiceless.”
In the Athletic interview, he said, “It was all those self-help groups at SQ and my religious beliefs that helped me stay humble.
“The first thing I want to do is apologize … to the survivors of my crime and talk about being an advocate for them as well. I’m taking this opportunity to apologize for everyone who wants to say ‘I’m sorry’ and apologize to all the survivors and victims of crime.”
Someone who worked with Showtime as a coach for the SQ Warriors is Anthony “Tone” Evans.
“He put the work in and he worked hard at his craft,” Evans said. “I’m not the only guy who is proud of him. I talked to other guys here around the prison and we all are so proud of him. He represents us here very well.”
In an interview on the Kelly Clarkson Show on April 29, Tobias Tubbs recalled doing time with Showtime at a maximum-security prison, Calipatria.
Tubbs and Showtime talked about the times they shared in prison with Showtime giving special thanks to Tubbs for teaching him how to be a human in prison.
“He gave me a vision about spirituality that I never experienced before,” said Showtime.
“I love your spirit, your energy, and your stories. You are such a blessing,” said Clarkson.
Showtime had this advice for all the incarcerated: “Be humble and don’t let anybody stop you from fulfilling your goals and dreams.”