This past week, former NBA Countdown host Michelle Beadle was a guest on the Ariel Helwani podcast. Beadle was asked to talk about her former colleague Rachel Nichols’ exit from ESPN during her appearance. Where she revealed that “karma is a b***.”
“Well, that’s nothing! That person [Rachel Nichols] that’s what she does and that was nothing,” said Beadle of The Athletic.
“She did still to me like she is the one that did all the stuff. She is the one that plays that game. And to watch the both of them [Nichols and Maria Taylor] sort of engaged in the media wars, look I don’t think either one of them came out looking great. It was just not a great look for either one of them, but it’s not shocking to anyone in that business. When I heard the names and who did what, it was yeah, that’s about right.”
Last August, ESPN removed broadcaster Rachel Nichols from all NBA programming and canceled “The Jump,” the weekday show Nichols hosted, according to John Ourand of sports business journal.
“We mutually agreed that this approach regarding our NBA coverage was best for all concerned,” ESPN Senior VP/Production David Roberts said in a statement emailed to SBJ. “Rachel is an excellent reporter, host and journalist, and we thank her for her many contributions to our NBA content.”
Nichols would confirm her show’s cancelation in a tweet that read, “Got to create a whole show and spend five years hanging out with some of my favorite people talking about one my favorite things. An eternal thank you to our amazing producers & crew – The Jump was never built to last forever, but it sure was fun. More to come….”
According to Andrew Marchand of the NY Post, ESPN and Nichols parted ways. Instead, allowing Nichols to pursue opportunities.
Following the 2020 leaked audio clip released by the New York Times, Nichols talks about her ESPN contract with Adam Mendelsohn. The long-time advisor to LeBron James and his agent Rich Paul.
During their conversation, Nichols talked about her former employer’s poor diversity policy, “Feeling pressure” about its “crappy long-time record on diversity.”
Then she implied that is the reason they added Maria Taylor to their basketball coverage.
“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball,” Nichols said in July 2020. “If you need to give her more things to do because you are feeling pressure about your crappy long-time record on diversity — which, by the way, I know personally from the female side of it — like, go for it. Just find it somewhere else. You are not going to find it from me or taking my thing away.”
Maria Taylor would sign with NBC Sports when her contract expired in July 2021.