Rachel Nichols Talks Jump to Showtime Basketball, ESPN Exit

Former ESPN anchor and reporter Rachel Nichols has been hired by Showtime Basketball, the network announced in a statement.Rachel Nichols

Nichols discussed her new role and turbulent ESPN exit during a guest spot on the All The Smoke podcast with former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson.

“I am so thrilled. For 25 years, I have gotten to do what I love as a job, which is also kind of crazy in and of itself,” Nichols said. “And to have this next step be with Showtime Sports, to get to work with crazy, cool, talented people I admire and respect both in front of and behind the camera, I’m so excited to join you guys.”

Nichols was pulled from ESPN programming last year after comments involving then co-worker Maria Taylor were recorded and forwarded to the New York Times. Nichols was actually discussing her contract with ESPN, but was seemingly victimized by cancel culture.

“One person decided to just sit and watch and start spying on me, like I was their own personal television show,” Nichols said. “When they heard something they thought was juicy, they picked up their cell phone and they started recording me.

“… “I feel very sorry that any of this touched Maria Taylor, because she is a fellow woman in this business. It wasn’t her fault that any of this was going on,” says Nichols. “To even bring her into that was a mistake on my part, and that it caused her to be upset in any way — I don’t want to be that person.”

Prior to being removed from ESPN programming, Nichols was the host of the popular show The Jump. It has since been replaced by NBA Today.

Her role with Showtime will be considerably different, as the network’s basketball coverage generally features feature-length programming and docuseries. Along with being on the air, Nichols is expected to also help produce some shows.

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