Rachel Nichols Rumors
Since there’s not much to talk about the game… Let’s talk more things Butler. Back story of the Jimmy Butler-Rachel Nichols interview. Bernie Lee: We just set the day for the interview to give him a forum to speak. It just worked out that that day they had the practice they had.
So he didn’t practice like that with the subsequent interview in mind? Bernie Lee: No, not at all. He practiced like that because that’s what needed to be done that day. It wasn’t contrived or anything. Also, there was no way to know someone within that team would live-tweet the whole thing. That part really surprised me.
The WNBA honored her passing with a statement and a tribute video prior to a playoff game on Sunday. Players and teams from around the NBA and other sports offered their tributes on social media. But the NBA did not officially acknowledge her death as it did with others before hers. ESPN’s Rachel Nichols wants to know why. She paid her own tribute to Ginsburg in a video essay released Monday.
Late Tuesday night, an anonymous party sent a Deadspin reporter four videos, which appeared to be a cell phone recording of a video feed, that shows ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, host of the afternoon NBA show The Jump, in a phone conversation with an unidentified man about personnel matters at the network. Nichols (whose face never appears on camera) and the other party to the call discuss Nichols’ career, ESPN staff, and the World Wide Leader’s decision about who will host the network’s coverage of the NBA Finals. In light of privacy concerns and our being unable to view the entirety of the conversation recorded, we have chosen not to detail the conversation or post the video of the call. Sources have told Deadspin that the entire video of Nichols’ conversation was 30 minutes long. Deadspin received about four minutes of edited footage. It is also worth noting that the videos were sent to Deadspin as an attempt to discredit Nichols’ job status within ESPN, and with the public at large, with the anonymous source texting our reporter that the videos would “expose” Nichols as a “back-stabber” and a phony ally.
Nothing in the videos Deadspin viewed show Nichols saying anything that could be construed as either a back-stabber or phony ally. Historically, casting successful women as conniving backstabbers has been a tried and true method of encouraging public condemnation of them. (See, e.g., Clinton, Hillary, and Warren, Elizabeth). You love to see the classics trotted out.
ESPN has released a statement regarding Deadspin’s story. We are extremely disappointed about the leak of a private conversation. It’s indefensible and an intrusion on Rachel’s privacy,” ESPN said in a statement. “As for the substance of the conversation, it is not reflective of our decision-making on staffing assignments for the NBA, which has largely been driven by the circumstances of the pandemic.”