By now you know that Rachel Nichols has been pulled from his NBA sideline reporting assignment in favor of Malika Andrews.
Here is the official statement that ESPN made about the move.
“We believe this is the best decision for all concerned in order to keep the focus on the NBA Finals,” ESPN said in a statement.
Nichols will stay hosting THE JUMP for the time being but that is not guaranteed to continue.
Nichols became a massive story on the 4th of July after audio leaked of her complaining that Maria Taylor only got an NBA Finals assignment in the bubble last year because of diversity and not her talent. Nichols apologized for those comments on The Jump and ESPN hoped it would all blow over.
I have been told though they were surprises at the massive blowback this story has received.
One of the main concerns they had was that if a player or coach during the NBA Finals decided to directly challenge Nichols on what she had said. There were also worries that players would refuse to do interviews.
While that potentially could be smooth over before the games, what can’t be smooth over is social media. When high profile people start speaking on a topic regardless of the side they take things quickly spiraled out of control. They made a massive mistake in making Kendrick Perkins and Richard Jefferson speak on Nichols’ behalf. ESPN was not pleased that Perkins went on Twitter spaces late last night to plead his case on how he had to do it because he didn’t want to lose his job.
Stephen Jackson making numerous videos and Kwame Brown speaking on the go along-get along game made it almost impossible for Nichols to keep her sideline gig.
The final straw may have been a wild rumor about Nichols and Jimmy Butler that has no credence to it, but once again had her trending for all the wrong reasons this morning. There was talk of even taking her off The Jump because at this point just the mention of her name is causing a lot of emotions.
Nichols tried to tweet some interviews she did and the ratio was something serious.
What is the end game of all of this?
It is very hard to say, Maria Taylor’s contract is coming up soon and her decision to stay or go will probably answer a lot of questions.
Flip the page for Rachel apologizing on The Jump and what Kwame Brown had to say.