Oklahoma Supreme Court justice Steven Taylor, 64, grew up in McAlester, received a bachelor’s degree from OSU and a law degree from OU. He eventually became a district judge and presided over the trial of Terry Nichols in the Oklahoma City bombing. He’s been on the state supreme court since 2004. Taylor’s son, Wilson, is the Thunder manager, and Judge Taylor is a huge Thunder fan.
How much do you enjoy your association with the Thunder?
Taylor: “I’ve been here for every home game since October 2008. I probably haven’t missed two or three home games. I love basketball, but this is about a whole more than basketball. It’s about all of the spirit of this team, the community and the excitement and the pride that the team’s brought to the city and the state. That’s bigger than basketball. Tonight, we’re going to be worldwide, national television right here from Chesapeake Arena. You can’t put a description or money figure to describe that kind of impact on the community.”
You’ve got an important job. I don’t know how stressful it is, but is the Thunder some kind of release for you?
“Yes. I spend all day at the Supreme Court, dealing with very important issues that I love to deal with. I love my job, I get up in the morning can’t wait to get to the office. But in the evenings, on home games, I’m like a kid. All day long I’m thinking, ‘Tonight, I’m going to go sit and watch the Thunder play basketball.’ I anticipate it and look forward to it. Then when the season’s over, all through the summer and early fall, I’m looking forward to the season starting. It is a release, and I love coming here, because you see so many people. It’s like a big town hall, town meeting. You come here and there’s 19,000 people; I’ve gotten to know the people I sit around where my season ticket is. I’ve been there six years. I’ve become very close friends with people that I would have never known. Just goes back to what I said about this team, what it’s done for Oklahoma City. There’s no description.”
Does Wilson enjoying working for and with the guys?
“As his dad, I’m so proud to see my son have a job that he describes as his dream job. He loves it. He spent four years as a manager for OSU basketball, working for Eddie Sutton and Sean Sutton, then he got his master’s in athletic administration at OSU. Came to work for the team as soon as they arrived here in 2008. He loves his work. His job is looking after the players. He loves his work.”