Rachel Nichols is not going to be reporting from the sidelines for ABC throughout the NBA Finals, ESPN introduced.
Nichols, who’s mired in controversy after it was reported that she claimed fellow ESPN reporter Maria Taylor was internet hosting final yr’s NBA Finals as a result of the community was dealing with stress to be various, will as a substitute proceed to host “The Jump,” ESPN’s weekday present offering NBA evaluation together with Kendrick Perkins and Richard Jefferson, the community mentioned in its launch.
Malika Andrews will take over the sidelines for the NBA Finals protection on ABC. Mike Breen is about to proceed because the play-by-play commentator with analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson.
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On Monday’s episode of “The Jump,” Nichols publicly apologized to Taylor and others for her feedback, saying that whereas she did not wish to be the story, she additionally felt she wanted to take the possibility to handle her feedback.
“The first thing they teach you in journalism school is, ‘Don’t be the story.’ And I don’t plan to break that rule today or distract from a fantastic Finals,” Nichols mentioned. “But I also don’t want to let this moment pass without saying how much I respect, how much I value our colleagues here at ESPN. How deeply, deeply sorry I am for disappointing those I hurt, particularly Maria Taylor. And how grateful I am to be a part of this outstanding team.”
Perkins responded, saying that he is aware of Nichols is a “great person,” whereas additionally saying that Taylor is “very, very talented, hard-working” and that she “deserves every opportunity that is presented her way.”
Jefferson added that there have been “difficult conversation” and that they may proceed to have these conversations.
“No one is excused,” Jefferson mentioned. “(Nichols) is not excused. I am not excused, (Perkins). This doesn’t just go away.”
The feedback from Nichols got here throughout a cellphone dialog with LeBron James advisor Adam Mendelsohn and agent Wealthy Paul, in line with a report from The New York Occasions, which have been then uploaded into ESPN’s servers. The report said dozens of staff got here into contact with the video and that one individual recorded the video on their cellphone and it reached executives on the firm.
“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball,” Nichols mentioned within the name, in line with The Occasions report. “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.
“I just want them to go somewhere else — it’s in my contract, by the way; this job is in my contract in writing.”
Taylor has not responded publicly to The Occasions report. Her contract with ESPN expires on July 20.