NBA Countdown host Maria Taylor won’t be returning to ESPN after the sides failed to reach agreement on a contract extension, the network announced Wednesday.
Per Bobby Burack of OutKick, Taylor is signing with NBC to work on Olympics and NFL broadcasts.
“So thankful to Jimmy and all of my great teammates and friends at the SEC Network, College GameDay, Women’s and Men’s college basketball, and the NBA Countdown family,” Taylor said in a statement. “[T]he people who believed in me, encouraged me, pushed me, and lifted me up. Words are inadequate to express my boundless appreciation, and I hope to make them proud.”
ESPN offered Taylor a contract $5 million last year, per Burack, but she declined and became a media free agent.
Taylor was the subject of some drama involving The Jump host and NBA sideline reporter Rachel Nichols, after a private conversation involving Nichols from a year ago was leaked. Nichols has since apologized, but was pulled from her sideline duties on the Finals in favor of Malika Andrews.
According to a New York Times report, Taylor has not spoken to Nichols since learning of Nichols’ comments in the leaked audio.