Maria Taylor, one of the top NBA analysts on ESPN, is parting ways with the sports network. Her exit is notable because it comes just weeks after comments from one of her colleagues sparked controversy that embroiled Taylor and ESPN.
The New York Times reported a leaked recording of a private conversation from last year in which Nichols says that Taylor was chosen to be the head of last year’s NBA Finals coverage because of the company’s diversity efforts.
Nichols was taken off the NBA Finals coverage, while Taylor’s final assignment with the company came on Tuesday night as she hosted NBA Countdown for Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
“So thankful to Jimmy and all of my great teammates and friends at the SEC Network, College GameDay, Women’s and Men’s college basketball, and the NBA Countdown family — the people who believed in me, encouraged me, pushed me, and lifted me up,” Taylor said, via ESPN Press Room. “Words are inadequate to express my boundless appreciation, and I hope to make them proud.”
Among those to congratulate the host on her expected new gig, in addition to leaving the Worldwide Leader, was Jemele Hill.
“Congrats Maria Taylor. See you on the other side,” Hill wrote with an accompanying clip from “The Shawshank Redemption.”
Hill also parted way with ESPN a few years ago, getting a hefty monetary package in order to do so.
ESPN said on Wednesday that “after much discussion, an agreement on a contract extension could not be reached.”