Former ESPN NBA host Rachel Nichols to work on Showtime Basketball – The Hollywood Reporter

Rachel Nichols landed in show time Basketball Sports– Vertical focus of the pay TV channel and streaming service.

Nichols will serve as host and producer for Showtime Basketball, which produces audio and video podcasts, documentaries, and programming, among other fare.

Programming from vertical include string Kevin Garnett: Anything is possibleand SpringHill’s shut up and dodge. Her talent includes people like Garnett, Paul Pierce, JR Smith, and Josiah Johnson.

“I have been very fortunate to live my dream job alongside some of the best journalists in the field for over 25 years, and this new development agreement with Showtime Sports gives me the most extensive playing field to date,” Nichols said in a statement. . “They have asked me to produce, create and host new cross-platform sports programs, work alongside the Hall of Famers, several players with championship rings and an uber-creative team behind the camera. We are going to have a lot of fun.”

Veteran NBA The reporter and host left ESPN In January, after the comments she made in a private phone call were published in New York timeswhich sparked controversy on sports television Leviathan.

In conversation with Adam Mendelsohn, Los Angeles Lakers star advisor LeBron James and James’ agent, Rich Paul, Nichols complained about choosing ESPN NBA reporter Maria Taylor to host. NBA Countdownthe channel’s main program before and after the game, during the NBA Finals.

“If you need to give her more things to do because you’re feeling pressured about your long, poor record in diversity — which, by the way, I know personally on the female side of — like, do it,” Nichols said. “Just find it somewhere else. You won’t find it from me or take my things. I just want them [ESPN] go somewhere else – by the way, in my contract; This post is written in my contract.”

The conversation took place amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, with Nichols and other ESPN talent working from home studios. It also happened in the wake of the protests linked to the killing of George Floyd, with many companies – including Disney – reacting to the racial accounts it sparked.

Unbeknownst to Nichols, an ESPN employee taped her comments and shared them internally, before they ended up in times.

Nichols later apologize to Taylor and ESPN President Jimmy Petaro Send a note to the staff He promised to take a “deep dive” into the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts.

Petaro wrote in a note times a story. Details of what happened last year are confidential, accurate and complex personnel matters. But understand this – we have a much better story than what I saw this week.”

In the end, Nichols removed From ESPN’s NBA coverage, and its daily show Leap was canceled. Taylor later He left ESPN for NBC Sportswhere she contributes to covering the Olympics and the NFL.

Nichols will talk about her departure from ESPN for the first time on an episode of Showtime Basketball’s video broadcast. All smoke with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson Released on Friday.

And on Showtime, she will once again be able to produce content for basketball fans familiar with her work over the past 25 years.

“We are thrilled to welcome Rachel Nichols to the Showtime Basketball family,” said Brian Dailey, Senior Vice President of Sports Programs and Content for Showtime Networks. “Rachel brings unparalleled journalistic credibility, great knowledge of our roster and a work ethic that will take us to another level.”

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