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Starting Five: “NBA Today” and “NBA Countdown’s” Malika Andrews

Before embarking on the "Boston Celtics All-Access" special Wednesday, the seemingly everywhere all at once host and reporter answers five questions about life on ESPN's NBA beat

ESPN’s “NBA Today” host Malika Andrews (foreground) celebrates the team behind the show. (Malika Andrews/ESPN)

To say Malika Andrews is everywhere is an understatement. The journalist who serves as host of ESPN’s NBA Today, Wednesday editions of NBA Countdown, and sideline reporter for ESPN and ABC’s game broadcasts has been consistently increasing her impact on ESPN’s overall content offerings.

In addition to hosting two shows, Andrews is assigned to high-profile NBA game telecasts throughout the regular season and into the NBA Playoffs. She has also expanded her social media reach. On YouTube alone, Andrews has accumulated a massive 341,000 subscribers on her official page.

Malika Andrews (Malika Andrews/ESPN)

NBA Today, with Andrews at the helm alongside a skilled cast of analysts, reporters, and behind-the-scenes personnel, has established itself as the critical daily hub of information and entertainment for hoops fans. The success is evident based on 14 out of the past 15 months, with year-over-year viewership increases since the show debuted. (The lone exception was in December during the 2022 Winter Olympics).

Meanwhile, Andrews also continues to shine on game telecasts. Next is a high-profile assignment on Wednesday, March 1, with the “Boston Celtics All-Access” special content initiative. Beginning with the 7 a.m. ET SportsCenter that day, ESPN platforms will present wall-to-wall coverage of the defending Eastern Conference champions before their game that night against the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers (7:30, ESPN).

At NBA All-Star 2023, Andrews ran an intense schedule of reporting and securing exclusive sit-down interviews. Amidst the nonstop hustle, Front Row asked Andrews to reflect on her favorite moments at ESPN and what she’s excited about as the season continues.

1. What’s been your most memorable interview?
I always love interviewing the NBA Finals MVP in the moments after the game ends and they are crowned: the emotions, the reflection, the honesty, and introspection. Interviewing Giannis [Antetokounmpo] and Steph [Curry] the last two years sticks with me.

2. What moment from NBA Today has made you laugh the hardest?
Probably the “did you steal my watch” moment with my sister, Kendra [Andrews]. But, the regular analysts on our show — Richard [Jefferson], “Perk” [], Zach [Lowe], and Chiney Ogwumike — make me laugh every day.

3. Which edition of NBA Today have you been most proud of?
The trade deadline and free agency shows are always special and make me feel proud. We joke those shows are “produced off vibes” because you never know what will happen! But, we’ve also had the privilege and responsibility of dedicating entire shows to [WNBA star] Brittney Griner’s return to the United States, memorializing [Hall of Famer] Bill Russell — and those are the shows that make me feel an immense sense of duty to our viewers. I’ll remember them for a long time.

4. Who are some of NBA Today’s behind-the-scenes MVPs?
Our researchers, Cesar Fernandez, Michael Schwartz and Jason Joseph. They are in the belly of the show with us: digging for last-minute nuggets mid-segment, building graphics, and helping spearhead “Chiney’s Cheatsheets” and breakdowns. They make our show sparkle.

5. What are you most looking forward to covering as we get set for an exciting remainder of the season?
“The Wild Wild West [NBA Western Conference].” Will [Nikola] Jokić win his third MVP? Suns? Lakers? Warriors? Kings?! Come on, now. This is going to be fun.

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