ESPN NBA host Rachel Nichols sparked controversy this past week following a highly-panned interview with San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan.
This week marks Duncan’s enshrinement into the NBA Hall of Fame, and as a result, he made himself available for media interviews.
One such interview took place with Nichols.
For the most part, it was fairly standard.
However, things took a turn when Nichols found a way to work Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James into the conversation. People didn’t like that very much.
In particular, Nichols referenced a quick conversation between Duncan and James at the end of the former’s career.
This interview was nearly 20 years in the making – such a treat to chat & laugh & reminisce with Tim Duncan as he’s inducted into the Hall of Fame. We talked his amazing career, his relationship with Pop (including the text messages Pop sends him – yes, Pop texts!) & so much more pic.twitter.com/63TbiayU09
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) May 15, 2021
“After the final game, you said ‘this is going to be your league, appreciate you giving us a year,’ what was that moment like?” she asked Duncan.
Fans reacted immediately.
Rachel Nichols interviews Timmy (Tim Duncan) as he gets inducted into the Hall of Fame and starts asking him about how great Lebron James is. I’ll leave it at this.#timduncan
— Joy Jagpreet Singh (@joysinghg) May 14, 2021
Rachel Nichols: Tim, how great is Lebron
Duncan: ….My career was better.
It’s almost as if someone is paying for the enhancement of Lebrons legacy…
— Gtown5300 (@Gtown53001) May 14, 2021
Rachel Nichols is washed as hell…just asked Tim Duncan at his own HOF inductee interview about….Lebron James. Bro you can’t make this up, this is supposed to be about him. Arguably the best PF of all time!! God bless his patience.
— x – MadGood Knicks Show™ (@MadGoodKS) May 14, 2021
I didn’t believe it so I had to see and hear it for myself. Rachel Nichols found a way to make Tim Duncan talk about Lebron during his own hall of fame induction interview. Lmfao I need ESPN to crash and burn
— León (@Champ_Lion) May 14, 2021
Duncan generally steers clear of doing media – and this is probably a good example of why.
Either he will do a standard interview that will turn into a whole thing, or someone will come out and randomly question him about his sexuality. Lose-lose.
That’s one way to watch a game. https://t.co/rlfZSR4DDe
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 13, 2021
Duncan is one of the greatest players of all time. When he gets to talking, he drops some real gems – like why he never trashed talked anyone.
Sadly, his interview with Nichols didn’t produce any quality content of that nature.