Veteran ESPN personality Rachel Nichols will not report from the sidelines during ABC's NBA Finals telecasts this year amid controversial remarks Nichols made in 2020 about NBA Countdown host Maria Taylor.
ESPN reported Monday that Malika Andrews will handle sideline reporting throughout the Milwaukee Bucks-Phoenix Suns NBA Finals series while Nichols hosts ESPN's The Jump daily NBA show. Nichols served as ABC's sideline reporter during last year’s NBA Finals that took place in the Orlando “bubble” last fall due to the pandemic.
The move comes after an explosive July 4 New York Times report in which Nichols was unknowingly taped during a phone conversation in 2020 saying that Taylor's appointment as NBA Countdown host was made to cover up the network’s “crappy” record on diversity. Taylor, who is Black, hosted the NBA Countdown pre-game and halftime program during the 2020 NBA Finals.
Nichols apologized for her remarks on ESPN’s The Jump show on Monday. The show did not air on Tuesday, but is expected to return on Wednesday, according to the New York Post.
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