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Why Malika Andrews Replaces Rachel Nichols on ESPN’s New Show, “NBA Today”

ESPN’s NBA coverage gets a makeover.

On Monday, the network announced that Malika Andrews – who served as a secondary reporter in the 2021 NBA Finals and 2020 NBA Bubble Finals – will host a new show called “NBA Today” with Kendrick Perkins, Chiney Ogwumike, Vince Carter and Zach Lowe. .

The show will air on Monday, October 18, replacing “The Jump”, which was previously hosted by journalist Rachel Nichols. Andrews released a statement on Monday in accordance with his promotion:

“It’s an incredible time to cover the NBA – a league that is full of characters and stories that resonate far beyond the world of sports,” Andrews said in a statement. “Our goal every day is to provide information and analysis to our viewers that cannot be gleaned anywhere else. I am so excited to introduce the league and the talented reporters, analysts and insiders on our team.”

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Andrews, 26, has accomplished a lot in her broadcast career: After writing for the New York Times and Chicago Tribune, she started writing for ESPN in October 2018 and became the youngest reporter to host a finale. NBA conference, during the bubble.

Andrews was previously on the Forbes 2021 “30 Under 30” list for sports, which recognized athletes and sports figures who “won on and off the field.”

Why is Malika Andrews replacing Rachel Nichols?

Nichols, who worked at ESPN in the early 2000s and returned in 2016, hosted “The Jump” – a weekdays show covering the NBA – for the past five years, airing over 1,000 episodes with daily threads. on the league.

She has also played a significant role in NBA network coverage overseas, hosting “NBA Saturday Primetime” and performing side duties, among others. But her duties were called into question in July, when an audiotape surfaced with controversial comments to ESPN involving former journalist Maria Taylor from July 2020.

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Taylor, who is black, was selected to host the 2020 NBA Finals cover against Nichols, which led her to share her frustration with Adam Mendelsohn – the longtime adviser to the U.S. superstar forward. Lakers LeBron James – and his agent, Rich Paul.

“I wish Maria Taylor all the best in the world,” Nichols said. “She covers football, she covers basketball. If you need to give her more to do because you’re feeling the pressure from your long-standing record for diversity – which by the way, I know personally on the female side – go for it.

“You just have to find it elsewhere. Like, you’re not going to find him with me and take my stuff.

After the audio was released, Nichols was removed from the program’s NBA coverage on August 25, shortly before the NBA Finals between the Suns and Bucks.

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What will “NBA Today” look like?

Dave Roberts, ESPN’s new senior vice president for the NBA and studio production, said the network’s new show “will provide in-depth and comprehensive daily coverage of all aspects of the NBA,” with Andrews and “a dynamic cast of expert analysts who all offer distinct perspectives on the game.

Roberts also said the show “will be both topical and timely with an eye on the biggest games in the league that day.”

Perkins, who signed a multi-year extension to stay with ESPN in May, has appeared on several shows on the network, including “The Jump,” “First Take,” “Get Up!” and “Hoop Streams”. Ogwumike, who also plays for the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, became the first black woman to host a national daily radio show in 2020 while serving as a full-time analyst for ESPN.

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Carter joined the network in September 2020 and has also commented in color for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Lowe has been recognized for his extensive writing and podcasting work with the program.

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