In recent months, there has been a lot of chaos at ESPN.
Big names like Jackie MacMullan, Dan Le Batard, and LZ Granderson called it quits; Maria Taylor bailed for NBC; Rachel Nichols was removed from all of the network’s programming; and Malika Andrews became the heir apparent to the NBA coverage throne with the announcement of a new daily show that’s set to premiere in October. But according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, more shakeups at the worldwide leader in sports will continue as Jay Williams has been removed from NBA Countdown, one of the more popular shows on the network.
If this comes as a surprise, perhaps it shouldn’t. While the former Duke star has been a part of the studio team since 2019, in recent months he’s spread himself thin with spot duty on shows like Get Up and his own gig, Keyshawn, JWill and Max, on ESPN Radio. He also recently announced a podcast with NPR that’s set to premiere in December, so perhaps his cup just runneth over.
Where things get interesting is that with Williams no longer a part of NBA Countdown, word on the street is he could be replaced by either Stephen A. Smith—who recently made a power play to take over weekday mornings juggernaut First Take—or Pardon the Interruption mainstay Michael Wilbon. There’s also the possibility that Magic Johnson could get offered the gig since ESPN is reportedly eager to have the Laker legend back in the fold.
Awful Announcing also reports that Jalen Rose could be next to leave the long-running program:
Jalen Rose’s status on the show is also undetermined. His stint with the studio crew goes back to 2012. Will Adrian Wojnarowski remain as one of the program’s regular panelists or will he join the show in an insider role with rumors and reports?
Since David Roberts took over the reins of ESPN’s NBA production in August, he’s been working overtime to revamp the network’s programming. And with the NBA season set to begin on Oct. 19, it’s safe to assume that more changes are in store before the league resumes play.