When ESPN canceled The Jump in the wake of the Rachel Nichols controversy, it was clear they’d be replacing it with a new daily NBA show.
The NBA is a cornerstone property for ESPN, after all, plus they have plenty of airtime to fill and plenty of potential panelists/contributors on staff. Today, ESPN announced that new show, NBA Today, is on the way in October, coinciding with the start of the NBA season. The bigger news, though, is who will be hosting it: Malika Andrews, news first reported by Ben Strauss at the Washington Post.
Andrews replaced Nichols as the on-court reporter for the NBA Finals this summer after comments Nichols made about Taylor resurfaced, and hosting NBA Today is another big sign that ESPN sees Andrews as a main face of their NBA coverage. ESPN’s announcement includes mention that the hosting duties come as part of a multi-year contract for Andrews.
As for the show itself, it sounds like it will attempt to emulate NFL Live more than it will try to be The Jump 2.0, as the Post report mentions it will have more “structure.”
From ESPN’s announcement:
ESPN NBA journalist Malika Andrews will host NBA Today as part of a new, multi-year contract extension. Andrews will be joined by ESPN NBA analysts Kendrick Perkins, Chiney Ogwumike, Vince Carter and ESPN Senior Writer Zach Lowe to form the NBA Today panel. Additionally, ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski and ESPN NBA Insider and Senior Writer Ramona Shelburne will be among several top ESPN NBA reporters contributing updates from around the league.
NBA Today will emanate from ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center and will air Mondays through Fridays from 3-4 p.m. ET on ESPN and the ESPN App. The October 18 debut of the show will air on ESPN2. NBA Today will also travel to marquee NBA events, including the NBA Finals for on-site shows. The show will have a year-round presence on ESPN and exclusive content from NBA Today will be regularly available on ESPN social media platforms.
It’s been a very quick rise for Andrews, who joined ESPN in 2018 and is now set for a very visible daily hosting platform, in addition to the NBA Finals duties she picked up this summer.
Her comment on the news, via ESPN:
“It’s an incredible time to cover the NBA – a league that is full of characters and stories that have resonance far beyond the sports world. Our goal every day is to deliver information and analysis to our viewers that can’t be gleaned anywhere else. I’m so excited to showcase the league and the talented reporters, analysts and insiders on our team.”
NBA Today launches October 18th, and the 2021-22 NBA season tips off the next night on ESPN.