After six seasons on the air, ESPN announced that it would be canceling The Jump as the network looks to shift its strategy regarding the NBA. The Jump, hosted by Rachel Nichols throughout its five-year show tenure, aimed to create the feel of a friendly living-room conversation in its approach to various topics in and around the NBA. The show also featured many notable guests in the form of ex-NBA players Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, and Richard Jefferson to bring fresh and funny perspectives to the show’s discussions.
However, what we will remember most about The Jump will not be the stars that guested on the show or the ratings the show scored throughout the years, but the lighthearted segments its producers created that are most memorable. In memory of the joy the show brought to NBA fans, Basketball Network pays tribute to the three parts of the show we will miss the most.
When we remember this segment, it likely has something to do with the player guesting on the show for that particular episode. Whether it Vince Carter’s jaw-dropping dunks or a clip from Kendrick Perkins’ extensive blooper reel, this segment always brought smiles to our faces along with a few laughs here and there. We will certainly miss a good old-fashioned Rewind, as The Jump is the only NBA-related show on ESPN that is constantly willing to look at the past (and laugh about it) in order to discuss the present. Now we also have to look for Kendrick Perkins bloopers on YouTube ourselves; that’s a shame.
Something, Nothing, or Everything
Let’s call this one SNE. SNE is my personal favorite of all the segments on ESPN and possibly among all NBA-related TV Shows due to its penchant for sparking constructive debate on issues within the NBA. Couple this with the fact that you have some big names from back-in-the-day chiming in with their hot takes, and you have a special TV segment. What will I miss the most? When Perk’s hot takes come from completely out of nowhere, leaving RJ and Rachel Nichols dumbfounded. I’m sure this is not the last we will see of Perk as he has guested on other ESPN shows apart from The Jump, but his stern presence on a show meant to be jolly and funloving created a unique dynamic we have yet to see on sports television.
Rachel Nichol’s Prologue
She may have been involved in some recent controversies with ESPN, but Rachel Nichols is one of the most talented reporters/hosts covering the NBA. Nichols has earned the right to sit down with some of the game’s greatest players and always knows which buttons to push during interviews to get responses from players. Her most glaring talent, though, is her ability to deliver a speech, and Rachel did this time and time again throughout The Jump’s five-year existence. Before the laughs and the jokes commence, she usually opens the show with an epic prologue setting up the context for the topic for the episode. Not only are these quirky and well-written, but her delivery of these introductions is impeccable. As The Jump comes to a close and Nichols moves away from NBA broadcasting, her sincerity and clarity in delivery are what the NBA world will miss the most.
The decision is final, and all we can do now is raise our glasses to ESPN and Rachel Nichols for a job well done these past few years. It was a good run and while we will miss the segments above along with many more things about the show, I can’t help but feel thankful for the five years The Jump gave us.