ESPN airs its first episode of “NBA Today” on Monday, a show said to provide “complete and in-depth daily coverage of all aspects of the NBA.”
It looks a lot like the station’s old NBA show, “The Jump.” Except it isn’t.
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On August 26, ESPN announced that it was canceling its old league talk show, which was hosted by host Rachel Nichols. Nichols was removed from the network’s NBA coverage on the same date, a decision that followed a leaked audiotape of him in which he made controversial comments about former ESPN reporter Maria Taylor.
“NBA Today” is now hosted by Malika Andrews, who was featured on Forbes’ 2021 “30 Under 30” sports list, which recognized athletes and sports figures who were “winning on and off the field.” You can see “NBA Today” in fuboTV, which offers a seven-day free trial.
Why is Malika Andrews replacing Rachel Nichols?
Nichols, who worked at ESPN in the early 2000s and returned in 2016, hosted “The Jump,” a Monday-Friday show covering the NBA, for the past five years, airing more than 1,000 episodes with daily discussions about the league.
She also stood out in the network’s broader NBA coverage, hosting “NBA Saturday Primetime,” serving as a side reporter and conducting frequent 1: 1 interviews with players and coaches. But her duties were called into question in July, when a July 2020 audiotape appeared that included controversial comments Nichols made to ESPN regarding former reporter Maria Taylor.
Taylor, who is black, was selected to host the 2020 NBA Finals coverage of Nichols, prompting her to share her frustration with Adam Mendelsohn, the longtime adviser to Lakers superstar forward LeBron James. , and his agent, Rich Paul.
“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world,” said Nichols. “She covers soccer, she covers basketball. If you need to give her more to do because you feel pressured by your long-standing shitty history on diversity, which by the way, I personally know myself from the feminine side, do it.
“Look for it elsewhere. As if you can’t find it with me and take what is mine from me. “
After the audio was released, Nichols was removed from NBA coverage of the show on August 25, shortly before the NBA Finals between the Suns and the Bucks.
I have to create a full program and spend five years hanging out with some of my favorite people ❤️ talking about one of my favorite things 🏀 A lasting thank you to our amazing producers and crew – The Jump was never built to last forever, but sure that was fun. . 😎
More to come … pic.twitter.com/FPMFRlfJin
– Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) August 25, 2021
Who else is on “NBA Today”?
Along with Andrews, “NBA Today” will feature former NBA champion Kendrick Perkins, eight-time NBA All-Star Vince Carter, two-time WNBA All-Star and commentator Chiney Ogwumike and ESPN columnist Zach Lowe.
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Perkins, who signed a multi-year extension to stay on ESPN in May, has appeared on various shows on the network, including “The Jump,” “First Take,” “Get Up!” and “Hoop Streams”. Ogwumike, who also plays for the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, became the first black woman to host a national daily radio show in 2020 while she was a full-time analyst for ESPN.
Carter joined the network in September 2020 and also commented in color for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Lowe has been recognized for his in-depth podcast and writing work with ESPN.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.