Rachel Nichols Rumors
What did you think about the controversy this summer around Rachel Nichols and Maria Taylor? Malika Andrews: You know, I am wholly uninterested in publicly dissecting women in this industry. It’s done enough, and I don’t want to be a part of that. Yeah. I think that I have a lot of respect for the struggles of the women that came before me, and it wouldn’t be fair to put my finger on that.
When ESPN resumes coverage of the NBA, its two main programs will have different looks. Gone is The Jump, the popular afternoon show that Rachel Nichols hosted, and in its place is NBA Today hosted by 26-year-old rising star Malika Andrews, who ESPN senior vice president of NBA and studio production David Roberts called “the present and future of our NBA coverage and programming.” The show premieres Monday at 3 p.m. ET, and on Tuesday, Andrews will interview NBA Commissioner Adam Silver with Chicago Zach LaVine and Portland’s Damian Lillard scheduled to appear later in the week.
As for Nichols, I’ll repeat what I wrote a couple of weeks ago: Nichols is well-liked by NBA top executives, as NBA commissioner Adam Silver made clear, and did terrific reporting work while at CNN and Turner Sports from 2013 to 2016. She was considered a valuable on-air asset by Turner’s top bosses when she worked there, and I could see a return to Turner (or NBA TV) down the road.
Malika Andrews will host a new daily NBA studio show for ESPN after Rachel Nichols’ “The Jump” was canceled amid controversy in August, the Washington Post’s Ben Strauss first reported Monday. The one-hour “NBA Today” will debut Oct. 18 and air at 3 p.m. every week day on ESPN, ESPN confirmed in a release. The panel of analysts joining Andrews consists of former NBA players Vince Carter and Kendrick Perkins, who were both featured on “The Jump”; current WNBA player and radio host Chiney Ogwumike; and writer and podcaster Zach Lowe.
In the wake of Maria Taylor and Rachel Nichols’ departures, Jalen Rose, Jay Williams and Adrian Wojnarowski are the “Countdown” incumbents, while Richard Jefferson, Kendrick Perkins and Chiney Ogwumike would figure to be candidates to join the show. ESPN also has interest in Draymond Green, but, as an active player, the Warriors forward would only be available on occasion.