Malika Andrews to host new NBA show on ESPN after Rachel Nichols controversy

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Malika Andrews is slated to host a new daily NBA show on ESPN this fall, replacing longtime network personality Rachel Nichols’s “The Jump,” which was canceled last month following controversy surrounding comments Nichols made.

The sports network announced on Monday that Andrews will host “NBA Today” with a debut set for Oct. 18, a day before the start of the 2021-2022 NBA season, which will be the first full 82-game NBA season since the coronavirus pandemic. 

Andrews will be joined by NBA analysts Kendrick Perkins, Chiney Ogwumike, Vince Carter and ESPN senior writer Zach Lowe as the show’s panelists. NBA reporters Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne will contribute to the new program as well. 

Andrews, who also inked a multiyear contract extension with the network, shared her excitement for her new show. 

“It’s an incredible time to cover the NBA — a league that is full of characters and stories that have resonance far beyond the sports world. Our goal every day is to deliver information and analysis to our viewers that can’t be gleaned anywhere else,” Andrews said. “I’m so excited to showcase the league and the talented reporters, analysts and insiders on our team.”

“The Jump,” which has been a staple for ESPN’s daily NBA coverage since 2016, was canceled last month amid the controversy surrounding Nichols.

The New York Times published a story in July that included an audio recording of a conversation between Nichols and Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James’s adviser Adam Mendelsohn. During the call, Nichols criticized her company for promoting another journalist for the network, Maria Taylor, who is Black, to host the “NBA Countdown” show as a part of a push for diversity. 

Nichols, who has been with ESPN for 16 years, received swift backlash for her comments and apologized on the air the next day. 

The network also replaced Nichols with Andrews as their lead sideline reporter for their NBA Finals coverage. 

The controversy led Taylor, who spent eight years with the network, to leave in July after her contract expired and join rival NBC Sports. 

The final episode of “The Jump” will air on Oct. 8, ESPN noted in their statement.

Tags Diversity espn Malika Andrews Maria Taylor NBA NBA Today Rachel Nichols The Jump

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