As part of an effort to overhaul its NBA coverage, ESPN will launch a new daily NBA studio show this fall that will be hosted by Malika Andrews.
The show essentially will replace Rachel Nichols’s “The Jump,” which was a staple of ESPN’s daily NBA coverage since 2016 before it was canceled amid controversy last month.
“NBA Today” will debut in October ahead of the NBA season and air from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern time every weekday. Andrews will be joined by a regular panel of analysts: former NBA players Vince Carter and Kendrick Perkins, current WNBA player Chiney Ogwumike and writer Zach Lowe.
Andrews, 26, is a former NBA reporter for the Chicago Tribune and an up-and-coming NBA personality at ESPN. She also will receive a contract extension, the network said in a news release Monday.
ESPN canceled “The Jump” last month, weeks after the New York Times published a recording in which Nichols, who did not realize she was being recorded, suggested in a phone call that her then-colleague Maria Taylor was replacing her as the host of NBA Finals coverage in 2020 because the network was feeling pressure about its record of diversity.
Following the leak of the tape, Nichols was removed from her role as a sideline reporter for ABC’s coverage of last season’s NBA Finals and was replaced by Andrews.
ESPN is in the process of reconstructing much of its NBA coverage ahead of the 2021-22 season. The network installed a new executive, Dave Roberts, to oversee that programming this summer and is also moving on from Nichols and Taylor.
Nichols, ESPN has said, will not be part of any of its future NBA coverage. After not reaching a contract extension with ESPN this summer, Taylor moved to NBC. ESPN has not announced a lineup for its pregame and halftime shows for its regular season and playoff coverage.
“The Jump,” which has continued without Nichols since the announcement that it would be canceled, will stay on the air for a few more weeks. “NBA Today” will debut Oct. 18. Ramona Shelburne, Adrian Wojnarowski and other ESPN NBA reporters also are expected to contribute to the show. ESPN hopes a consistent panel on “NBA Today” can replicate the camaraderie and tone of its daily NFL show, “NFL Live.”