This past October, ESPN commentator Maria Taylor was named host of ESPN and ABC’s longstanding NBA pregame show, NBA Countdown, in addition to her role with College GameDay and ABC Saturday Night Football.
As part of ESPN’s reimagined NBA pregame coverage, Taylor is joined by analysts Jalen Rose, Jay Williams and NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, with appearances from NBA Champions and analysts Paul Pierce and Richard Jefferson, to lead into primetime Friday night NBA games.
Taylor reflects on her first few months in her new role as she gears up for her first NBA on Christmas Day amidst 15 consecutive hours of event and studio coverage across ESPN and ABC. Ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks versus Philadelphia 76ers matchup, NBA Countdown will air Taylor’s exclusive interview with reigning NBA MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
What has been your favorite moment on the show thus far?
Honestly,just spending time with the guys has been my favorite moment. Getting to work with Paul, Jalen, Jay, RJ, and Woj is the best part of my job. It’s amazing to just be around such elite basketball minds as they break down the game and the league.
How has it been traveling from NBA Countdown on Friday night to Game Day on Saturday?
[Two weeks ago] I started the week in Milwaukee with the reigning NBA MVP and finished it in New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony. I had eight different events/interviews which added up to five flights, one road trip to Clemson and a train from Philly to New York. I usually take the first flight out Saturday to my college football location the morning after working NBA on Friday night. Travel has been incredibly hectic, but I really cannot complain because I have the opportunity to cover the highest level of two sports that I truly love.
Who’s someone you’d like to have on the show or interview for the show?
I would love to do a roundtable with all of the women who are currently working as assistant [coaches] around the NBA. I think they are breaking a glass ceiling and it is incredible to bear witness to it.
What are you looking forward to most about working your first NBA Christmas Day?
I have always watched the NBA on Christmas Day with family. It is a part of our tradition so it is a blessing to be a part of the broadcast team. We have some fun content to share with fans including a sit down with [Milwaukee Bucks forward] Giannis Antetokounmpo. But the matchups I am most looking forward to watching would definitely have to be Bucks versus 76ers and Clippers versus Lakers.