Maria Taylor welcomes Malika Andrews onto the NBA Finals stage for Andrews’s very first time amidst the Rachel Nichols debacle.
Rachel Nichols found herself in some hot water as a phone call between her and LeBron James’s advisor, Adam Mendelsohn, leaked a couple days ago. The call highlighted on Nichols being aghast at the fact that Maria Taylor was chosen over her to appear on NBA Countdown even though, contractually, the position was outlined for her.
Nichols slipped up by saying that the only reason Maria Taylor got the job was because ESPN was looking to fill in a sort of diversity quota in their cast, not due to any merits of her own. Following this call being leaked, Rachel Nichols was ousted from being a sideline reporter at the 2021 NBA Finals and was replaced by Malika Andrews, a woman of color.
NBA fans were more or less supportive of this decision being approved as they claimed Rachel Nichols should be given that kind of a position after the racially charged things she had to say about Maria Taylor.
Maria Taylor greets Malika Andrews during the latter’s first ever NBA Finals sideline reporting gig.
Malika Andrews is a fan favorite for most NBA fans so seeing her be the replacement for Rachel Nichols was not a decision that irked these fans in any way. Prior to the commencement of the Game 1 between the Suns and the Bucks, Maria Taylor welcomed in Malika Andrews during her first ever sideline reporting coverage of a Finals game.
Maria Taylor welcomes Malika Andrews to the 2021 NBA Finals pic.twitter.com/iLIwu8cydt
— Rob Lopez (@r0bato) July 7, 2021
The conversation between the two quickly turned to the similarities shared between Malika Andrews and the 33 players playing in this 2021 NBA Finals. These similarities, of course, that other than Jae Crowder, no other player on either team has been to an NBA Finals, just like Andrews herself.
Rachel Nichols will continue to work on ‘The Jump’ and any consequences for what she said in that call, other than her replacement on the sidelines, have not been aired out as of yet.