Malika Andrews will host ESPN show 'NBA Today,' replacing Rachel Nichols' 'The Jump' spot

·3 min read

Malika Andrews will host a new daily NBA studio show for ESPN after Rachel Nichols' "The Jump" was canceled amid controversy in August, the Washington Post's Ben Strauss first reported Monday.

The one-hour "NBA Today" will debut Oct. 18 and air at 3 p.m. every week day on ESPN, ESPN confirmed in a release. The panel of analysts joining Andrews consists of former NBA players Vince Carter and Kendrick Perkins, who were both featured on "The Jump"; current WNBA player and radio host Chiney Ogwumike; and writer and podcaster Zach Lowe.

It will also feature reporters Ramona Shelburne, Adrian Wojnarowski and other NBA reporters working for ESPN. The show will travel to big NBA events such as the Finals.

The first episode will air a day before the regular season begins on Oct. 19 and will air on ESPN2 rather than its home at ESPN proper. NBA training camps open next week and preseason games begin in early October.

"'NBA Today' will provide in-depth, comprehensive daily coverage of all aspects of the NBA," said ESPN senior vice president David Roberts in a release. "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."

Andrews, 26, is an up-and-coming star for ESPN and received a multi-year contract extension as part of the new show. She joined the company in 2018 and became the youngest broadcaster to host the NBA Finals Trophy ceremony when the Milwaukee Bucks won it all in July.

“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 company release. "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 takes over after Nichols' show booted

That moment came following controversy surrounding Nichols and comments first leaked, in part, a year prior. The New York Times published an audio recording in which Nichols suggested former ESPN colleague Maria Taylor was elevated to her position because of a diversity effort by the company. Nichols is white and Taylor is Black.

Nichols, a longtime reporter for the company, did not know she was being recorded when it happened during the 2020 NBA bubble season in Orlando, Florida.

It caused internal strife in ESPN that bubbled to the surface during the NBA playoffs. After the report, ESPN removed Nichols from her position as sideline reporter for the NBA Finals coverage. Andrews took over.

ESPN later canceled the show and she will reportedly not appear on the network over the final year of her contract. Taylor left ESPN for NBC Sports during that time as her contract with ESPN had concluded.

Malika Andrews will host a new hour-long NBA show for ESPN this fall. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Malika Andrews will host a new hour-long NBA show for ESPN this fall. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)