Michele Tafoya said Tuesday she has stepped down as the lead sideline reporter for ABC and ESPN's NBA coverage. She will continue to work on ESPN's "Monday Night Football" package and also will remain a regular on ESPN Radio on Wednesday afternoons
Tafoya made her decision to leave the NBA telecasts after being home for only four nights in a six-week span during last season's playoffs.
"It was a grind, and it was hard on me and my family," said Tafoya, who lives in Edina with her husband, Mark Vandersall, and their 3-year-old son, Tyler. "At that time I was really thinking about it. We just started re-negotiating my contract, and I just couldn't do it again. ESPN has been really, really supportive."
All of Tafoya's assignments come with different contracts and her NBA deal was up. She's in talks with ESPN about other potential assignments that wouldn't call for travel.
"I might do more radio or some more dot-com stuff," she said. "But the NFL already takes me away two to three days a week during the season, and I just didn't want to do more than that."
Tafoya had spent the past six seasons working on the NBA for ABC and ESPN and had been part of the Finals' coverage each year. That assignment also meant she worked a Christmas Day telecast.
Tafoya and Vandersall are hoping to expand their family soon. They are in the process of adopting a girl from South America.
"We've been told that should happen at any time, and that will add to my desire to be with my family," she said.