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It’s official: NBA journalist Malika Andrews is taking over Rachel Nichols‘ The Jump time slot as the host of her own show on ESPN.

2021 NBA Finals - Game One

Source: Chris Coduto / Getty

Andrews is going to lead NBA Today, an hour-long show providing daily coverage of all aspects of the league,  premiering on October 18 at 3 p.m., the network confirmed on Monday. This new show is part of the 26-year-old’s multiyear contract extension, which follows reports from Andrew Marchand that Malika was the heavy favorite for the job.

The final episode of The Jump will air October 8, after ESPN removed Nichols as host of the show, along with all other ESPN programming, in August. Of course, this happened due to her previous disparaging “diversity” comments about former ESPN broadcaster Maria Taylor were made public in July.

In a leaked audio, Nichols implied during a phone call that Taylor received an ESPN gig she claimed was initially meant for her, simply because Taylor is black and the network was “feeling pressure” about its “crappy longtime record on diversity.”

After the leaked audio and all the backlash that followed, Nichols issued a tearful apology during an episode of The Jump–but it just wasn’t good enough.

This replacement was a long time coming, as ESPN also replaced Nichols with Andrews as the network’s sideline reporter during the 2021 NBA Finals. It also marked Malika’s first time covering the NBA Finals after making her debut with the network in late July, covering the Tokyo Olympics.

As for Taylor, she never addressed the situation directly, but she did share quotes to social media about “rising” through “dark times.” Unsurprisingly, she chose not renew her contract with ESPN following her coverage of the NBA Finals as host of NBA Countdown, instead striking a megadeal with NBC.

Andrews will be joined on NBA Today by a panel of ESPN’s NBA analysts, including Kendrick Perkins, Chiney Ogwumike, Vince Carter and ESPN senior writer Zach Lowe. ESPN senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski and ESPN NBA Insider and senior writer Ramona Shelburne, among other ESPN NBA reporters, will also contribute to the show.

“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,” Andrews said in a press release announcing the show. “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.”



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