Former ESPN host and sideline reporter Rachel Nichols has been hired by Showtime Basketball.
Per an official release, Nichols will serve as host and producer for multiple programs and projects for Showtime Basketball on various platforms.
The new venture marks Nichols' first gig since her departure from ESPN. The network canceled The Jump, which launched in 2016 and was hosted by Nichols, in August 2021 and removed her from its NBA coverage.
Kevin Draper of the New York Times reported in June 2021 on audio from a recorded phone call in 2020 between Nichols and Adam Mendelsohn, an advisor to LeBron James, in which she indicated Maria Taylor was given a job hosting ESPN's pregame and postgame coverage of the NBA Finals because she is Black.
"If you need to give her more things to do because you are feeling pressure about your crappy longtime record on diversity—which, by the way, I know personally from the female side of it—like, go for it,” Nichols said in the audio, per Draper. "Just find it somewhere else. You are not going to find it from me or taking my thing away."
Taylor left ESPN in July 2021 and began working as an on-air host for NBC Sports.
Per Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Nichols and ESPN agreed to a settlement in January that also allowed her to pursue other opportunities.
Showtime has been building its basketball coverage. The network is the streaming home for the All the Smoke podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. It has also produced several documentaries about some of the sport's biggest stars, including Kobe Bryant's Muse, One & Done/Ben Simmons, The Resurgence: DeMarcus Cousins and Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story.
Nichols will appear on the All The Smoke podcast to discuss her time with ESPN, including her exit from the company, and stories throughout her career in sports journalism.