Rachel Nichols removed from ESPN’s NBA coverage after audio leaked: Report

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FILE – In this July 20, 2021, file photo, ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols walks on the court after Game 6 of basketball’s NBA Finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns in Milwaukee. ESPN is cancelling Nichols’ “The Jump” show and pulling her off NBA programming. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — ESPN is removing Rachel Nichols from its NBA coverage after comments she made about a colleague were leaked, according to Sports Business Journal.

ESPN is also reportedly canceling Nichols’ show “The Jump” and will launch a new afternoon NBA show before next season.

Details about the show’s format or host(s) aren’t known at this time.

Nichols posted to social media after the news was announced, saying there’s more in store for her.

“The Jump was never built to last forever but it sure was fun,” she wrote. “More to come…”

Back in July, ESPN removed Nichols from coverage of the 2021 NBA Finals after a recording of a phone conversation between her and Adam Mendelsohn, the longtime adviser of LeBron James, was leaked.

The alleged conversation came during the 2020 NBA Finals, when ESPN chose Maria Taylor over Nichols to be the primary host of the network’s finals coverage.

The leaked audio captured an upset Nichols expressing her frustration with ESPN’s decision, reportedly saying that Taylor only got the job because of ESPN’s “crappy longtime record on diversity.”

“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball,” Nichols said in an audio excerpt published by the New York Times. “If you need to give her more things to do because you are feeling pressure about your crappy longtime record on diversity — which, by the way, I know personally from the female side of it — like, go for it. Just find it somewhere else. You are not going to find it from me or taking my thing away.”

Nichols later issued an apology to Taylor, who has since left ESPN and joined the NBC Sports team where she made her first appearance during the network’s Tokyo Olympics coverage.

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