The Jump will return to ESPN for a second season, the network announced on Thursday. Hosted by Rachel Nichols, the daily NBA studio show will air at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN 2 when the 2016-17 NBA season begins, then move over to ESPN after the Super Bowl in early February. The Jump will run through the entire NBA season, including summer league play in July. The show will make its second-season debut on Oct. 24.
But the more interesting NBA news from ESPN was below the fold, so to speak, concerning two personalities who will be seen regularly on The Jump.
.@ZachLowe_NBA has signed a multi-year deal with ESPN. Deal includes being on the ESPN afternoon show, The Jump.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) October 13, 2016
Senior NBA writer Zach Lowe has agreed to a new multi-year extension with the network, which includes regular appearances on The Jump in addition to his podcast, The Lowe Post. Lowe joined ESPN in 2012 as a member of Bill Simmons’ Grantland staff. He remained with the network after Simmons’ contract wasn’t renewed and Grantland was folded. His longform style, humor, quirky interests and use of video has made him one of the most popular NBA writers online.
Joining The Jump‘s studio crew will be former NBA star Scottie Pippen. Nearly a month ago, The Big Lead reported that Pippen would sign with ESPN as an analyst. The network made it official on Thursday, announcing Pippen would be a part of the show in its second season. Pippen will join a group of analysts that include former NBA players Tracy McGrady, Stephen Jackson and Byron Scott. Other ESPN reporters and columnists who will contribute to The Jump include Ramona Shelburne, Brian Windhorst, Israel Gutierrez, Amin Elhassan, Tom Haberstroh and the newly re-signed Marc Stein.
The Jump will also have more shows on the road, outside the studio, in its second season, broadcasting live from several different NBA venues throughout the regular season and NBA Playoffs. Nichols will also have an increased role on the NBA Countdown studio show with interviews and features.
“We had such a great response to The Jump last season, it’s amazing to have ESPN come back and say – ‘you know all that really cool stuff? We’re just going to do more of that,'” Nichols said in an official statement. “Oh, some of the most interesting names in basketball hanging out, having fun, smart conversations? Yeah, let’s also add six-time champ Scottie Pippen to the group. Going on-site for the biggest moments of the season? Great, let’s do that even more often, in more places.“