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SportsCenter host Kenny Mayne is leaving ESPN after 27 years
Rachel Nichols will not be eligible as a side reporter for this year’s NBA Finals after her year-long comments about ESPN colleague Maria Taylor come to light.
However, Nichols will continue to become The Jump, ESPN’s weekday NBA Show, during the NBA Finals, along with a cast of analysts and reporters including Richard Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins.
In July 2020, Nichols expressed frustration at this while speaking with LeBron James’ advisor Adam Mendelsohn that Maria Taylor – a Black analyst at ESPN – would host coverage of the 2020 NBA Final when Nichols felt she was filling the role.
« I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world – she covers football, she covers basketball, ”said Nichols during the conversation, the audio of which was recently shared in a New York Times article. « If you have to give her more to do because you are feeling pressure because of your shitty long-term record in terms of diversity – which, by the way, I know personally from the female side – then do it. Just find it somewhere else. You won’t find it from me or take my thing away from me. ”
Nichols added at the time that coverage of the NBA finals was“ written in my contract ”even though ESPN refused to provide the details of their pact to comment.
On the episode of The Jump this Monday, Nichols apologized and said, « The first thing they teach you in journalism school is not to be history, and I am not going to make that rule break today or distract you from a fantastic finale. But I don’t want to let this moment go by without saying how much I respect our colleagues here at ESPN, how much I appreciate our colleagues here at ESPN, how sorry I am for disappointing those I have hurt especially Maria Taylor, and how grateful I am to be part of this outstanding team. «
The 2021 NBA Final will be announced tonight at 9/8 on ABC, with the Phoenix Suns taking the Milwaukee Bucks for Game 1 align. Mike Breen returns to his unprecedented 16th Gundy and Mark Jackson. Andrews will provide sideline reports.
In addition, Steve Javie will continue to provide acting analysis and response from the NBA Replay Center while Maria Taylor will host her second season as pregame and halftime host along with analysts Jalen Rose and Jay Williams and reporter Adrian Wojnarowski returns.
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