Malika Andrews quickly became a breakout star covering the NBA inside the bubble during the pandemic and from the NBA Finals sidelines for ESPN.
Malika Andrews knows how to seize the moment. When the NBA decided to carry on with its season during the pandemic last year, Andrews became an instant breakout star as one of the first journalists allowed inside the NBA bubble in Orlando, Fla. Thrust into one of the most unique situations ever for a sports journalist, the Oakland, Calif., native made the most of the moment, deftly weaving entertaining behind-the-scenes segments about life inside the bubble with in-depth reporting on issues affecting the players on and off the court, like her piece on players' reactions to a Kentucky grand jury's decision not to charge the officers in Breonna Taylor's death. Andrews perfectly captured the emotional moment, even offering her own personal take, something that isn't usually welcomed by her employer. But Andrews is undeterred. "When I am aided in doing that job and fulfilling that by sprinkling in some of my own worldview, that no one can tell me is invalid or incorrect because I've lived it, then I've absolutely been emboldened to do so." she told GQ. When ESPN needed to find a way to move past the explosive New York Times story in which ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols was caught on video throwing shade at Black colleague Maria Taylor, "the worldwide leader in sports" turned to its rising young star to take Nichols' place on the sidelines of the NBA Finals, a first for Andrews. She lived up to the moment, earning high praise from fans, players and colleagues for her veteran-level poise, particularly during the post-game trophy presentation with the Milwaukee Bucks. Fortunately for us, ESPN rewarded Andrews with her own show, NBA Today, where we will get to see this budding superstar on a much more regular basis.