TV & Movies

ESPN Picks Malika Andrews for NBA Coverage, Replacing Rachel Nichols

Malika Andrews will replace Rachel Nichols as the face of ESPN’s regular NBA coverage.

The Disney-backed sports-media giant said Andrews, who is extending her contract, will anchor “NBA Today,” a new weekday basketball program that will air starting October 18, just a day before the big basketball league starts its next season. The new program will replace “The Jump” as ESPN’s daily NBA studio show, and that program will air its final episode on October 8.

ESPN executives no doubt hope the launch of the new show and the elevation of Andrews as its anchor will put to rest a difficult era at the network. Nichols had become embroiled in a controversy after a video recording of her complaining about a colleague, Maria Taylor, getting a role she had been promised surfaced at the network, spurring internal complaints and division within the Disney-owned sports-media giant. Taylor recently left ESPN and moved to NBC Sports and ESPN took Nichols off the air while agreeing to pay out her current contract.

“’Malika, who is a phenomenally talented commentator, will run point on a show that will feature a vibrant cast of expert analysts who all offer distinct perspectives on the game” said David Roberts, ESPN’s senior vice president of NBA and studio production, in a statement. “Through the contributions of our wide array of NBA reporters, the show will be both newsy and timely with an eye towards the biggest games around the league that day.”

More to come…

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