Few analysts have seen as meteoric a rise as ESPN’s Malika Andrews.
Two summers ago, Andrews burst onto the scene with a report in the Orlando Bubble. Last year, Andrews took over sideline reporting duties for the NBA Finals following the unceremonious and controversial departure of Rachel Nichols from ESPN.
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Andrews has added another feather to her cap as she prepares to become the first ever woman to host the NBA Draft.
Here’s a look back at how Andrews got started and what’s next for ESPN’s budding media superstar.
Who is Malika Andrews?
Malika Andrews is one of ESPN’s lead NBA analysts. She has been with the sports broadcasting powerhouse since 2019, having previously worked as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times.
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Andrews began writing for the company about the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks, where she developed a relationship with rising Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo. However, Antetokounmpo abruptly left a press conference after Andrews asked him a question following Milwaukee’s loss to the Raptors in the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals.
Andrews and ESPN released a report that suggested Antetokounmpo’s long-term future in Milwaukee may have been in jeopardy just minutes after the Bucks lost. Antetokounmpo’s camp didn’t take too kindly to that.
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Nevertheless, Andrews continued her meteoric rise up the industry ladder. She featured prominently in ESPN’s coverage of the bubble, taking on fully disguised reporting duties. Andrews also interviewed draft prospects during the 2020 NBA Draft, which was held virtually in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The Bay Area native has become a highly valued part of ESPN’s broadcast team. So when ESPN let Nichols go after she was caught on tape making controversial statements about then-colleague and co-host Maria Taylor, Andrews was the perfect choice to take her place.
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She first filled in as a sideline reporter during the 2021 NBA Finals. Andrews then took on hosting duties for NBA Today, ESPN’s daytime NBA show.
Andrews’ promotion has produced its fair share of TV gold, including this funny interaction between Andrews and her sister Kendra, who now works for ESPN as a reporter for the Golden State Warriors.
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Although only 27 years old, Andrews has received a significant amount of recognition for her performance on ESPN. She won a Sports Emmy for Emerging On-Air Talent earlier this year.