Maria Taylor’s contract situation has been a big storyline the past few weeks, with the Rachel Nichols revelations and a reported bid from NBC adding to the mix.
Today, we learned that despite Taylor’s contract being up before the end of the NBA Finals, she won’t be leaving before the series concludes. That had been a rumored possibility, which would have been a pretty stark departure, so it’s probably no surprise that Taylor and ESPN have worked out a deal to keep her through the end of the series. Richard Deitsch first reported the small extension:
As I've been told, the series has to go six games. Duh.
Per sources: I am an idiot but you get what I mean here. https://t.co/2Siub7YTVN
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) July 16, 2021
Andrew Marchand confirmed the news:
As I previously reported, Taylor's current contract is up Tuesday so a mini contract extension was needed.
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) July 16, 2021
This kind of issue isn’t unusual, especially in a year where the sports calendar is still recovering from pandemic-related cancellations. The NBA Finals would usually be over by now, and Taylor’s contract expiration wouldn’t have been an issue at all.
Far less high profile: but when I left espn in ‘07 my deal ended the day in between the Frozen4 & National title game for men’s hockey-I was espn’s host/sideline reporter. Talks ended that day but Both agreed I should do the title game despite no longer an espn employee. Was glad
— Mike Hall (@BTNMikeHall) July 16, 2021
Considering this will most likely be Taylor’s final ESPN duties, it’s nice that both sides worked together to find a way for her to finish the Finals. It wouldn’t have been good for anyone had she either left or been told to leave with just a few days left in her marquee role. The NBA, too, would certainly not have been happy to have ESPN machinations continue to overshadow the actual series on the court, which could have had bigger ramifications for ESPN down the line.