ESPN will debut a new studio show, NBA Today, hosted by Malika Andrews beginning October 18th, ESPN PR announced Monday. The hour-long NBA Today will air weekdays from 3-4 PM ET on ESPN. Andrews will be joined by analysts Kendrick Perkins, Vince Carter, Chiney Ogwumike and senior writer Zach Lowe with contributions from lead reporters Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne. NBA Today replaces The Jump (hosted by Rachel Nichols until her departure last month), which will end its five-year run on October 8th.
Nichols parted ways with the network under controversial circumstances this summer, stemming from a leaked phone call a year earlier criticizing ESPN for giving her NBA Finals hosting assignment to Maria Taylor, implying that decision was influenced by the company’s “crappy longtime record on diversity.” Nichols had been slated to cover the Finals as a sideline reporter but was replaced by Andrews after her comments went public. Taylor, meanwhile, stayed on as host of NBA Countdown until her contract expired in July, at which point she bolted for NBC.
An up-and-comer in the sports broadcasting realm, Andrews first joined ESPN as a reporter in 2018, covering beats for the Chicago Bulls, Milwaukee Bucks and later the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. The 26-year-old Oakland native was also part of ESPN’s coverage for the NBA’s first “virtual” draft held in 2020.