ESPN Picks Malika Andrews for NBA Coverage, Replacing Rachel Nichols

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Malika Andrews will replace Rachel Nichols as the face of ESPN’s regular NBA coverage, in a move executives no doubt hope will bring a difficult era at the Disney-backed sports-media giant to an end.

ESPN 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.

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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.”

Andrews joined ESPN as a reporter covering Midwest basketball teams like the Milwaukee Bucks and the Chicago Bulls prior to the 2018-19 NBA season. She took on a bigger, national reporting role prior to the 2019-20 season.” Beyond her new duties, Andrews will also work as a sideline reporter for NBA live event coverage, while providing special reports and conducting exclusive interviews with key players.

“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. “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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