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Rachel Nichols and Maria Taylor Replacing Michelle Beadle on ESPN NBA Countdown

Rachel Nichols and Maria Taylor will split the hosting role of ESPN’s NBA Countdown in some capacity, Richard Deitsch reports. He further notes that Michelle Beadle’s future is up in the air, tweeting: “She’s well-liked by the talent she works with and she’ll be working on-air somewhere. The Q is whether that will be for ESPN or elsewhere. To be determined.”

This is not particularly stunning news. Sports By Brooks reported similarly several weeks ago; in February we wrote that ESPN was in a bind with Beadle, who has several years and double-digit millions of dollars left on her contract, but had ceased being a capable leader for ESPN’s flagship NBA program.

Nichols, who will remain hosting The Jump, has deep roots with the NBA. Taylor is a rising star at the network who has excelled in every role she has been in.

It will be interesting to see who ultimately wins the job for the NBA Finals telecasts on ABC, or maybe if they go with something similar to Sunday Night Football on NBC where there are two hosts and separate sets.