Rachel Nichols controversy with Maria Taylor
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cathy78
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2021 8:35 pm    Post subject:

LakersRGolden wrote:
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ESPN is the real screwup in this story.

Rachel Nichols is one of the best hosts they have on the network. If I'm not mistaken, she was nominated this year for the Emmy (or one of those awards) for being a host of a sports show. I think Ernie Johnson won for Inside the NBA, but he's the best and his show is the best pre/post game show in sports so that makes sense. But she was nominated and I think that is well deserved.

I have nothing against Maria Taylor, she is also very good. But if you are going by experience/seniority at the network, then Rachel Nichols has that over Maria Taylor by miles. Nichols has been a reporter at ESPN for many years and she transitioned to hosting duties very well.

If I was Nichols and ESPN told me to sit on the sidelines while someone else took my rightfully deserved job, I'd be pissed too.

Now her statement regarding Taylor being considered for the job lacked tact, but what it boiled down to is her saying, "I support propping up black women for these jobs at ESPN, but why do I have to be the one that gets demoted to achieve that?" and I think that is a fair criticism of the network's decision. It isn't logical to put someone in that position over Nichols when she is the clear cut choice for that job.


The job they gave Taylor was specified in Nichol's contract.

If that is true the mess is even bigger...
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2021 5:07 am    Post subject:

non-player zealot wrote:
Wasn't Taylor the one who forgot about AD in some listing some months back? Or she had a vote for MVP or DPOY or somethin and she seemed to forget that Anthony Davis existed as a thing and she had to say she blew it on that tip?


Yup.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2021 4:19 pm    Post subject:

I hear Maria Taylor is going to go to NBC Sports.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2021 6:16 pm    Post subject:

Basketball Fan wrote:
I hear Maria Taylor is going to go to NBC Sports.


Fades into obscurity...
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2021 7:21 pm    Post subject:

jonnybravo wrote:
Basketball Fan wrote:
I hear Maria Taylor is going to go to NBC Sports.


Fades into obscurity...


On one hand she will leave a bad workplace environment....
On another hand she will no longer be able to cover sports like the NBA which ESPN has exclusive rights to along with TNT.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 2:22 am    Post subject:

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There's not one personality on ESPN that I find worth watching anymore. So I really can't take a side here its also not a good look for the NBA when this gets more attention/coverage than the actual Finals matchup. When you make the talking heads a story over the actual product you are already on a downward spiral.

There's a reason why TNT is considered superior than anything ESPN puts out.


I think I gave up MTV later than I gave up BSPN, tbh. I was done w/ BSPN by about 1998. SportsCenter had already turned into a comedy show w/ the likes of Kilborn and the graphx all over the place were migraine starters. I remembered the good times as early 90s where it was a straight show w/o all that BS. Desk and 2 dudes who knew sports and weren't there to get famous. I'd rather do a lot of unpleasant things before watching a week's worth of full episodes of SportsCenter now.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 9:59 am    Post subject:

lakersken80 wrote:
jonnybravo wrote:
Basketball Fan wrote:
I hear Maria Taylor is going to go to NBC Sports.


Fades into obscurity...


On one hand she will leave a bad workplace environment....
On another hand she will no longer be able to cover sports like the NBA which ESPN has exclusive rights to along with TNT.


She's covered football also, and we know NBC has that. Supposedly she could be put onto their Olympic coverage for the Tokyo games. The story out there is that she could become the host for Football Night in America (Sunday night football) when Mike Tirico takes over for Al Michaels (whose contract expires this year).

In all honesty, a lot of ESPN personalities "fade into obscurity" at least on a National level. Many of the ones who didn't were OG's like Patrick, Olberman, Eisen, etc. And unlike those who did fade away, Taylor is in high demand right now - regardless of how much this Rachel Nichols story had anything to do with it. She would be wise to literally cash in when her stock is at its peak - especially if it means leaving ESPN for NBC because ESPN has been cutting costs (e.g. firing) in recent years in the form of "high priced" personalities. Who's to say she wouldn't be one of them in 5 years if she stayed at ESPN? Not to mention all the drama that would continue with Rachel Nichols still being there.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 4:28 pm    Post subject:

non-player zealot wrote:
Basketball Fan wrote:
There's not one personality on ESPN that I find worth watching anymore. So I really can't take a side here its also not a good look for the NBA when this gets more attention/coverage than the actual Finals matchup. When you make the talking heads a story over the actual product you are already on a downward spiral.

There's a reason why TNT is considered superior than anything ESPN puts out.


I think I gave up MTV later than I gave up BSPN, tbh. I was done w/ BSPN by about 1998. SportsCenter had already turned into a comedy show w/ the likes of Kilborn and the graphx all over the place were migraine starters. I remembered the good times as early 90s where it was a straight show w/o all that BS. Desk and 2 dudes who knew sports and weren't there to get famous. I'd rather do a lot of unpleasant things before watching a week's worth of full episodes of SportsCenter now.


The only shows that are worth watching on ESPN are

30 for 30
PTI
Peyton's Places(ok that's ESPN Plus)

It feels like pure sports and not someone trying to be a clown show.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 4:37 pm    Post subject:

This drama has shown me that Malika Andrews is a solid reporter. Rarely watch ESPN NBA coverage because it sucks, but since we're stuck with it for the Finals I've been watching more and with Nichols out of the picture for now, Andrews has really stepped in nicely. Hopefully she becomes a mainstay for bigger events if Taylor leaves and Nichols takes back over hosting duties.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2021 12:22 am    Post subject:

Basketball Fan wrote:
non-player zealot wrote:
Basketball Fan wrote:
There's not one personality on ESPN that I find worth watching anymore. So I really can't take a side here its also not a good look for the NBA when this gets more attention/coverage than the actual Finals matchup. When you make the talking heads a story over the actual product you are already on a downward spiral.

There's a reason why TNT is considered superior than anything ESPN puts out.


I think I gave up MTV later than I gave up BSPN, tbh. I was done w/ BSPN by about 1998. SportsCenter had already turned into a comedy show w/ the likes of Kilborn and the graphx all over the place were migraine starters. I remembered the good times as early 90s where it was a straight show w/o all that BS. Desk and 2 dudes who knew sports and weren't there to get famous. I'd rather do a lot of unpleasant things before watching a week's worth of full episodes of SportsCenter now.


The only shows that are worth watching on ESPN are

30 for 30
PTI
Peyton's Places(ok that's ESPN Plus)

It feels like pure sports and not someone trying to be a clown show.


True on 30 Fer 30. I was in the credits of the Lakers/Celtics one. How can I not vouch for it? The Hulu peeps have already contacted me. I dunno if I can do what they want tho. Wilbon also told Kornheiser to peep my Magic Man video on a PTI. I'm kind of a big deal, BBall Fan...

I miss the Charley Steiner era of SportsCenter from 91-93 and even early Stu Scott and Kilborn in 94-96. Reason being is that the format was still basic and the graphics weren't all over the place and that watching an epi didn't feel like playing a 5 ball pinball machine like it does now. I get migraines and I don't need that to set me off like Beavis having a seizure when a song goes from fast to slow and repeats. I loved Beavis And Butthead from the start, course I was in HS at the time. MTV was still cool until about 96. W/ Cobain's death, the alternative music boom of the 90s was coming to an end. It was saddening to me.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:11 am    Post subject:

Maria Taylor and ESPN part ways after leaked audio controversy

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"So thankful to (ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro) 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 — the people who believed in me, encouraged me, pushed me, and lifted me up," Taylor said. "Words are inadequate to express my boundless appreciation, and I hope to make them proud."


https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/ncaabk/maria-taylor-and-espn-part-ways-after-leaked-audio-controversy/ar-AAMp4my?ocid=mailsignout&li=BBnb7Kz
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:56 am    Post subject:

Malika Andrews handled the trophy presentation as well as anyone I've seen. She's really good and destined to rise to the top spot on bball coverage, I think. Also, I'm in love with her.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 1:43 pm    Post subject:

lakez34 wrote:
This drama has shown me that Malika Andrews is a solid reporter. Rarely watch ESPN NBA coverage because it sucks, but since we're stuck with it for the Finals I've been watching more and with Nichols out of the picture for now, Andrews has really stepped in nicely. Hopefully she becomes a mainstay for bigger events if Taylor leaves and Nichols takes back over hosting duties.


None of them are reporters though. They're all reading off a teleprompter with a few off the cuff remarks in between. I've never watched a telecast and though, boy if they changed hosts I"ll stop watching. The TNT crew is the exception. They all bring something unique to the table. I could give a flying F about ESPN"s coverage.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 7:26 pm    Post subject:

Black20Ice wrote:
Maria Taylor and ESPN part ways after leaked audio controversy

Quote:
"So thankful to (ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro) 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 — the people who believed in me, encouraged me, pushed me, and lifted me up," Taylor said. "Words are inadequate to express my boundless appreciation, and I hope to make them proud."


https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/ncaabk/maria-taylor-and-espn-part-ways-after-leaked-audio-controversy/ar-AAMp4my?ocid=mailsignout&li=BBnb7Kz


The victim is the one who is forced to leave?…
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 6:14 am    Post subject:

CandyCanes wrote:
Black20Ice wrote:
Maria Taylor and ESPN part ways after leaked audio controversy

Quote:
"So thankful to (ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro) 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 — the people who believed in me, encouraged me, pushed me, and lifted me up," Taylor said. "Words are inadequate to express my boundless appreciation, and I hope to make them proud."


https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/ncaabk/maria-taylor-and-espn-part-ways-after-leaked-audio-controversy/ar-AAMp4my?ocid=mailsignout&li=BBnb7Kz


The victim is the one who is forced to leave?…


That’s one way of looking at it. Or perhaps she was capitalizing on the attention and additional exposure it brought her while also getting out of a toxic environment. It seems awfully convenient that this became a story just weeks before her contract was expiring when the event in question occurred a year ago.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 8:45 pm    Post subject:

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 6:38 pm    Post subject:

jonnybravo wrote:
Basketball Fan wrote:
I hear Maria Taylor is going to go to NBC Sports.


Fades into obscurity...


Yep. She’s working this minor sporting event no one has ever heard of called The Olympics. Lol

https://twitter.com/theathletic/status/1418722546669654024?s=21
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 7:57 pm    Post subject:

TDRock wrote:
jonnybravo wrote:
Basketball Fan wrote:
I hear Maria Taylor is going to go to NBC Sports.


Fades into obscurity...


Yep. She’s working this minor sporting event no one has ever heard of called The Olympics. Lol

https://twitter.com/theathletic/status/1418722546669654024?s=21


Lol.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 8:33 pm    Post subject:

jonnybravo wrote:
TDRock wrote:
jonnybravo wrote:
Basketball Fan wrote:
I hear Maria Taylor is going to go to NBC Sports.


Fades into obscurity...


Yep. She’s working this minor sporting event no one has ever heard of called The Olympics. Lol

https://twitter.com/theathletic/status/1418722546669654024?s=21


Lol.


Lol..
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 6:37 am    Post subject:

David Friedman wrote:

ESPN's Clown Show NBA Coverage, Featuring Stephen A. Smith and Kendrick Perkins Being Wrong About Almost Everything

The NBA Finals were a treat, culminating in a performance for the ages by Giannis Antetokounmpo. However, ESPN's NBA Finals coverage was often nothing more than a clown show, from the Rachel Nichols/Maria Taylor controversy to the futile and failed attempts of Stephen A. Smith and Kendrick Perkins to utter a remotely intelligent sentence.

Smith's loud and tired act has gone on for too long, and his shortcomings have been well documented here and elsewhere. It is sad that ESPN has sunk to branding a specific edition of SportsCenter with Smith's name, but this is not surprising, as I explained several years ago: "ESPN either hires people who are buffoons and instructs them to act like buffoons or ESPN hires people who used to be real journalists and pays them a lot of money to act like buffoons." Smith leads the pack in the first category.

Perkins is a former player who should know something about the NBA, and once in a while he makes sense, but he understands that he is being paid to provide headline-grabbing hot takes, not to provide intelligent analysis. Jalen Rose did a great job of listing just a few of Perkins' hot takes gone wrong about the Milwaukee Bucks and the 2021 NBA Finals:

    Young folks like this that have been doing this job, like five years, they get one or two things right, they get one or two catchphrases, then they come over here with their Dr. Seuss lines wearing their 80s pastor suits and think all of their takes are going to be hot. So let me tell you a couple of things that I heard Perk say about this series. Didn't he just slander Coach Bud the entire year about not making adjustments? Hey Perk, the number one adjustment this year was giving the ball to Middleton the last couple of minutes of a game. Jrue Holiday isn't the best two way player in the NBA. Last night you saw the best two way player in the NBA. That's actually Giannis Antetokounmpo. And Khris Middleton is not Batman. That happens to be The Greek Freak. And don't try to flip it and say now he's Superman. You can just say that take was off. By the way, what happened to your guy Deandre Ayton? Is he still David Robinson? I didn't see him. Are the Suns still a dynasty? I don't see that with a 36 year old point guard. So again, it's great to come over here and talk really loud and have all of the catchphrases, but you were so very dead wrong about the Bucks as a guy who said that Giannis should leave Milwaukee. You said Giannis should leave Milwaukee. He stayed and he delivered.

Perkins was indeed "very dead wrong," and his attempt to respond to Rose was pathetic, focusing on Rose's hair line; Rose's joke about "Dr. Seuss lines" was funny, and he followed it with basketball analysis, but Perkins' jokes fell flat and were not followed by any basketball analysis. Rose may be the only ESPN commentator who directly calls out fellow ESPN commentators. As Kwame Brown recently noted, Rose deserves credit for attempting to set Stephen A. Smith straight years ago about using the words "bust" and "scrub" to refer to any NBA player. Rose has sometimes provided mixed or muddled messaging on racial issues but his basketball analysis is generally on point.

In addition to the foolish commentary that has become as much an ESPN trademark as anything else, the network also foisted on the public a soap opera pitting Rachel Nichols versus Maria Taylor. In my recap of game four of the 2021 NBA Finals I briefly addressed the Nichols/Taylor controversy:

    Can anyone honestly say that either Nichols or Taylor consistently add something meaningful and profound to the telecasts? In 20 years, NBA fans and historians will still be talking about Antetokounmpo, Middleton, Booker, and Paul, but it is doubtful that many people will remember or care who served as the pregame and halftime host for ESPN/ABC's Finals coverage. It is worth noting that Taylor, ESPN/ABC's newly anointed NBA Finals studio host, was the only one out of 100 media award voters who did not select Anthony Davis for the All-NBA Team after the 2019-20 season (Davis made the First Team after receiving 79 First Team votes and 20 Second Team votes). Taylor's excuse for leaving one of the NBA's top five players completely off of her ballot for the NBA's top 15 players is that she forgot about him. Anyone can make a mistake, and one hesitates to make extreme and/or absolute statements, but it must be asked: How can a media member who "forgets" about one of the league's elite players be elevated to a job that makes her the face of ESPN/ABC's pre-game and halftime NBA Finals coverage?

Nichols is not bad at what she does, and she is better than Taylor, but both of them are quite replaceable. For those who are unaware of the basic facts of the controversy, a private phone conversation that Nichols had with one of LeBron James' advisors was recorded--unbeknownst to Nichols, which is illegal in Florida (where Nichols was staying at the time she participated in the phone call)--and then excerpts of that recording were intentionally leaked by at least one ESPN staffer who did not approve of what Nichols said. Nichols asserted that it is written into her contract that she will be the pregame and halftime host for the NBA Finals, and she declared that if ESPN wants to prove its wokeness by expanding Taylor's role then it should find a way to do so without violating that contractual obligation. Nichols praised Taylor's work and at no time asserted that Taylor is not qualified to be the pregame and halftime host; Nichols just claimed that ESPN has no contractual right to give those assignments to Taylor.

I have not read Nichols' contract, but assuming that she knows what is in her contract and that she stated those terms accurately, she has every legal right to feel wronged if her employer essentially demotes her without cause and in violation of a signed agreement. Nichols also has every right to feel violated that her private phone call was recorded without her knowledge and then broadcast to the public without her consent. All of that being said, there is not a little irony that Nichols is facing the cancel culture after she has been so outspoken and politically slanted during many of her basketball broadcasts. Self-proclaimed "progressives" now portray Nichols as a hypocrite, as someone who claims to be down with the cause but is really more focused on herself. Nichols opened herself up to such criticism by portraying herself in a certain fashion and then daring to utter private remarks that do not live up to others' expectations of her. It is never pretty when self-proclaimed "progressives" turn on their own, as we have seen throughout history (perhaps most notably in the Soviet Union, where a person could be a hero one day and literally cut out of state-controlled newspaper headlines the next day).

The problem--which neither Nichols nor Taylor nor most people who have commented about this acknowledge--is that once you accept the view that hiring practices should be based on any form of proportional representation as opposed to solely based on qualifications then you are going to open the door to resentment, to assumptions that certain people are not qualified for the positions they have, and to a host of other problems. ESPN spends more time and energy trying to act "woke" than it does trying to fill positions based on merit, and that is a bigger issue than Nichols' privately expressed resentment of ESPN's assignment shuffling.

Taylor took great offense to what Nichols said, and Taylor subsequently refused to appear on camera with Nichols. Nichols, who is often outspoken about being woke and certainly does not need a weather report to understand which way the wind is blowing, offered a public apology to Taylor that Taylor neither acknowledged nor accepted. Taylor probably correctly assumed that the apology was not sincere, because if Nichols were given truth serum she would most likely not think it necessary to apologize for privately griping that her employer is violating her contract. We are just watching an elaborate song and dance: Nichols' apology was a necessary damage control move, and Taylor's non-acceptance of the apology was an expected response from someone who feels entitled to be aggrieved despite being elevated to a position contractually promised to another person who has more seniority and experience on the NBA beat.

ESPN removed Nichols from its Finals coverage for a day or two, and then figured out how to ease her back in without having her ever appear on the same show as Taylor. Even though Taylor won the battle to be the pregame and halftime host, it was obvious that this would be her last assignment with ESPN. After the NBA Finals ended, ESPN and Taylor announced that they have mutually agreed to part ways. Taylor will no doubt grab adoring headlines--and huge dollars--regardless of where she goes next.

No one would dream of putting together an NBA team based on some kind of proportional ethnic representation of the U.S. or world population, and it does not make any sense to put together any organization with such proportional ethnic representation as the goal. I don't care if the pregame/halftime host is White, Black, Asian, male, female, heterosexual, homosexual, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or belongs to any other racial group, gender, sexual orientation, and/or religion. All I care about is that the pregame/halftime host understands NBA basketball, and can be a "traffic cop" for the other participants in the broadcast. Bob Costas and Ernie Johnson are the gold standard for the past 30 years, if not all-time. We all know that Nichols and Taylor are nowhere near that level, and it is a reasonable assumption that ESPN bypassed more qualified candidates to put first Nichols and then Taylor in the role--and even if Nichols and Taylor are the best that ESPN has, the focus on "representation" will always leave lingering doubts about how they achieved prominence.

When the focus shifts from creating equal opportunities to creating equal outcomes, we all lose.

I cannot wait until the current NBA media contracts expire, and I hope that TNT will cover the NBA Finals under the next deal.

Just to put a bow on all of this, it should be mentioned that some ESPN basketball commentators/analysts are first rate, including Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, Tim Legler, and Jalen Rose. Hubie Brown's role has been reduced, but in his prime he was the absolute best, and he is still top notch even now. That is not an exhaustive list of qualified ESPN broadcasters, but the problem is that the unqualified ones are often provided the most attention, air time, and compensation.

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