ESPN NBA commentator Rachel Nichols has had a rough week. Most notably she has been deeply embroiled in a controversial scandal involving fellow ESPN host, Maria Taylor, stemming from leaked audio with racially-tinged overtones.
It got so bad that even Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant absolutely torched Nichols.
As if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, Nichols now has another salacious hullabaloo on her hands.
On Tuesday morning, the 47-year-old began trending on Twitter for a truly bizarre reason.
An alleged hook-up with Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler in the NBA Bubble last year. What makes this all the odder is that no substantive proof was offered for the gossip – it just kind of started trending for no reason.
Essentially, people are combining two separate incidents in last year’s NBA Bubble and saying they are linked.
The first was Karl-Anthony Towns telling Butler to call Nichols while the pair was trash-talking one another during a Heat-Timberwolves showdown last year.
KAT telling Jimmy Butler “Call Rachel Nichols” hits different now pic.twitter.com/2n7hwgz8eC
— . (@_Brandyn2) July 6, 2021
The second was a story from the NBA Bubble where security was allegedly called to Butler’s room over a loud banging noise.
During the quarantine period in Orlando last week, Jimmy Butler got reported for a disturbance complaint after dribbling in his hotel room
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 15, 2020
No way pic.twitter.com/kF3gmfwA2a
— GrandpaJuice (@itslejon_brames) July 6, 2021
Naturally, Twitter had a field day.
Jimmy Butler 100% clapped the Rachel Nichols wagon. A freak of nature pic.twitter.com/8jSZkAy4q5
— Truth Turtle (@wecomingoneday) July 6, 2021
Jimmy Butler got with Rachel Nichols in the bubble?! No wonder why my nigga was tired pic.twitter.com/WoOjl8L2OC
— Dami(Temporary Suns fan) (@KingDami5299) July 6, 2021
Y’all remember them Jimmy Butler and Rachel Nichols interviews that was a little too friendly in the bubble? We should’ve known then
— Erick (@ADxBron) July 6, 2021
streets saying Jimmy Butler plowed Rachel Nichols and i’m supposed to believe he’s better than Tatum? y’all be easy
— Henry (@BucketsByTatum) July 6, 2021
It’s worth noting at this juncture that literally zero proof exists of any sort of hook-up. Zero.
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 14, 2021
Not that this has stopped social media from going wild.
That said, since this rumor has absolutely nothing of substance backing it up, it’s almost difficult to put it in the same category as the aforementioned transgressions.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.