After months of controversy involving an internally-leaked phone conversation, questions about management, conversations about diversity, fraught contract negotiations and the departure of two of the network’s top female hosts, ESPN announced on Friday a new show to replace its Rachel Nichols-fronted daily NBA flagship, The Jump.
The offering will be called simply NBA Today and will inhabit roughly the same time slot as The Jump. The show is to be hosted by ESPN’s ace NBA reporter — and frequent Jump fill-in frontwoman — Malika Andrews. The newly-minted show will also feature commentary from regular Jump analysts Kendrick Perkins, Vince Carter and Zach Lowe as well as reporting from Jump mainstays Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne.
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An excited Andrews took to Twitter to celebrate the news, reposting the network’s tweet with “Let’s do this!”
In a statement released by ESPN Andrews said, “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.”
David Roberts — the network’s new Senior Vice President, NBA and Studio Production who has overseen the recent transitions in coverage — had the following to say: “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.”
NBA Today will air regularly on ESPN Monday-Friday at 3 p.m. ET. Its debut will be October 18 on ESPN2. The final episode of The Jump is slated for Friday, October 8.
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