Curators of Black Media

ESPN’s Malika Andrews to host ‘NBA Today’ replacing Rachel Nichols after controversy

ESPN has announced a replacement for Rachel Nichols’ The Jump with Malika Andrews and her new show, NBA Today.

ESPN announced on Monday that Andrews will host NBA Today that is set to debut on Oct. 18, a day before the 2021-2022 season starts. The program will air weekdays from 3-4 p.m. ET on ESPN and the ESPN App. NBA Today will replace The Jump, which was recently canceled.

Andrews’ new show are apart of a new multi-year contract extension with ESPN. The show will also include NBA analysts Kendrick Perkins, Chiney Ogwumike, Vince Carter, and ESPN Senior Writer Zach Lowe.

Andrews shared her excitement of the good news on social media, retweeting an announcement of the news. “Let’s do this!” she tweeted. Andrews expanded on her new show with a statement that was released by the network.

“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,” Andrews said.

NBA Today will provide in-depth, comprehensive daily coverage of all aspects of the NBA. 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. 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,” David RobertsESPN Senior Vice President, NBA and Studio Production, said in a statement.

Andrews first joined ESPN as a Midwest regional reporter who covered Milwaukee Bucks and the Chicago Bulls right before the 2018-19 NBA season. Andrews rose to the national scene while reporting on the league from Orlando in 2020 as part of the COVID-19 NBA ‘bubble.’

Andrews was awarded the new hosting role when disparaging comments by fellow ESPN host Rachel Nichols in reference to former ESPN host/reporter Maria Taylor came to light.  In a private call in 2020 that was inadvertently recorded and  later shared by an ESPN employee, Nichols alleged that Taylor gained a promotion because she is Black.

“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball,” Nichols said, “If you need to give her more things to do because you are feeling pressure about your crappy longtime record on diversity — which, by the way, I know personally from the female side of it — like, go for it. Just find it somewhere else. You are not going to find it from me or taking my thing away.”

Nichols would apologized for her comments, but she was still removed from her show.  Nichols has one more year left on her contract at ESPN. As of now, its not quite clear what her role at the network will be for the remainder of her time there. Taylor left ESPN in August for NBC when she couldn’t come to terms with the network on a contract extension.

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Author: The Black Detour Team

J.D. Smith is a Tech Investor, Author, and Economist. He is the Founder of Visionary Creative International, a Tech-Based Consumer Solutions Company. He is also the Publisher for Black Media Daily, a 24/7 media outlet providing a voice for black content creators and a place to control their image throughout the Diaspora. J.D. is also the co-author of the book 100 Questions Black People Should Ask themselves, and a best-selling author of the book Made By Hustle. As a digital nomad, he promotes the importance of black travel and working from anywhere.