After months of controversy involving leaked audio and conversations about diversity, ESPN has announced a new show to replace its Rachel Nichols-fronted daily NBA flagship, The Jump.
The new show will be called simply NBA Today and is to be hosted by ESPN’s ace NBA reporter Malika Andrews. The new show will also feature commentary from regular Jump analysts Kendrick Perkins, Vince Carter and Zach Lowe as well as reporting from Jump mainstays Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne.
In a statement released by ESPN Andrews said, “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. I’m so excited to showcase the league and the talented reporters, analysts and insiders on our team.”
The new show is part of the 26-year-old’s multi-year contract extension. It is set to debut on October 18th, which is also Nichols’ birthday.
In a leaked audio video, Nichols could be heard on a phone call implying that former ESPN broadcaster Maria Taylor received an ESPN gig she claimed was initially meant for her, because Taylor is black and the network was “feeling pressure” about its “crappy longtime record on diversity.”
Nichols later issued a tearful apology during an episode of “The Jump.”
Taylor never addressed the situation directly, rather she decided to not renew her contract and instead struck a mega deal with NBC.
The final episode of The Jump will be October 8th.