ESPN is going through a public relations nightmare over the past few days. As soon as they announced that Rachel Nichols would not be on the NBA Finals coverage and replaced with Malika Andrews, more news dropped about another analyst.
Amin Elhassan and Jemele Hill joined The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz on Tuesday to have a conversation about Nichols and what she said about Maria Taylor.
Elhassan took some time out of the segment to put ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski on blast. He referenced in the New York Times piece where Wojnarowski called Nichols a “bad teammate.”
“Are you [expletives] me? This guy is going to call someone a bad teammate? For real? For real? Do we want to talk about the black careers that he put a foot on because he was threatened by? Do we want to talk about that? Do you wanna talk about the newsbreakers – with an ’S’ – of diverse background, who have rapports with players that Adrian doesn’t have. That he saw as threatening because his sources are all front office people… and assistant coaches trying to move up… and maybe a video coordinator that’s trying to get a better job somewhere else,” Elhassan said.
“But he can’t talk to LeBron. And he can’t talk to Chris Paul or Damian Lillard or some of these other guys. He doesn’t have that rapport with them. So what he does is he steps on them. And beyond that particular angle, he steps on a lot of people over there. He steps on a lot of people over there. Right? When you see a byline that says ‘as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski and fill-in-the-blank.’ That’s the old, ‘yeah, put my name on it and put it out there.’”
Fast forwardd to 41:02 on the below video:
Nichols apologized live on the air Monday before ESPN levied their decision against her.
“The first thing they teach you in journalism school is ‘Don’t be the story,’ and I don’t plan to break that rule today or distract from the (NBA) Finals,” Nichols said. “But I also don’t want to let this moment pass without saying how much I respect, how much I value our colleagues here at ESPN, [and] how deeply, deeply sorry I am for disappointing those I hurt, particularly Maria Taylor, and for how grateful I am to be part of this outstanding team.”