ESPN is removing Rachel Nichols from her duties as a sideline reporter for ABC for the NBA Finals, as relayed by OutKick’s Bobby Burack.
Nichols has been at the center of some controversy after a leaked private conversation from a year ago was made public. That conversation centered on Nichols’ ESPN colleague Maria Taylor, who is up for a new contract.
“We believe this is best decision for all concerned in order to keep the focus on the NBA Finals,” ESPN said in a statement to OutKick. “Rachel will continue to host ‘The Jump.'”
Nichols apologized on “The Jump” for her comments about Taylor. According to a New York Times report, Taylor has not spoken to Nichols since learning of Nichols’ comments in the leaked audio.
“The first thing they teach you in journalism school is don’t be the story,” Nichols said. “I don’t plan to break that rule today. But I also don’t want to let this moment pass without saying how much I respect and how much I value our colleagues here at ESPN. How deeply, deeply sorry I am for disappointing those I hurt, particularly, Maria Taylor.”
Malika Andrews will replace Nichols on the sidelines for the Finals.
The Bucks and Suns tip off Game 1 of the Finals on Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST.