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Rachel Nichols probably would like to take a long trip away from it all due to the fact she’s in the middle of major hot water after a leaked conversation aimed at a Black co-worker went wide. In the wake of that unfortunate moment, many on Twitter are sparking a zany rumor that the ESPN reporter slept with Jimmy Butler and another NBA player while in the Orlando bubble last year.

Trying to determine the root of the rumor has been somewhat challenging but on Tuesday (July 6), Butler’s name began trending on Twitter in the morning hours with many chiming in under the trend that the Miami Heat superstar had a sneaky link with Nichols. Adding to the over-the-top nature of this rumor, Nichols was allegedly linked to Turkish player Ersan Ilyasova of the Utah Jazz but it appears that the rumors are largely untrue but that hasn’t stopped Twitter from having fun about it.

It can be assumed that the rumor was started to stir up more disdain for Nichols after she had an unfavorable assessment of her colleague Maria Taylor, this after the New York Post shared a report of Nichols speaking candidly with LeBron James adviser Adam Mendelsohn. The audio of the discussion featured a frustrated Nichols who felt she should have been the main reporter for the 2020 NBA Finals instead of Taylor.

“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world, she covers football, she covers basketball,” Nichols said. “If you need to give her more things to do because you are feeling pressure about your crappy longtime record on diversity, which, by the way, I know personally from the female side of it, like, go for it. Just find it somewhere else. You are not going to find it from me or taking my thing away.”

Nichols apologized to Taylor on Monday’s episode of The Jump with co-hosts Kendrick Perkins and Richard Jefferson, both of whom endorsed and supported Nichols.

For now, check out the reactions to the zany and unfounded rumors of Rachel Nichols and Jimmy Butler below. And not for nothing, Nichols said what she said but there’s no reason to put this kind of rumor on her out of spite. Also, salute to Maria Taylor because she deserves everything she gets from now on.

Photo: Getty