ESPN cuts ties with Paul Pierce after going live on IG with strippers

The former Boston Celtics player-turned-ESPN analyst's moment of debauchery violates the network's COVID-19 safety protocols, officials said.

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Former Boston Celtics player-turned-ESPN analyst Paul Pierce was fired from his on-air job after going live on Instagram in a room full of strippers while drinking, smoking and playing poker with friends. The moment of debauchery violates COVID-19 safety protocols that the network has in place. 

Pierce regularly appeared on The Jump and NBA Countdown

Boston Celtics player-turned-ESPN analyst Paul Pierce was fired from his on-air job after going live on Instagram in a room full of strippers while drinking, smoking and playing poker with friends. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Many fans speculated that Pierce wouldn’t remain in his job for long after the weekend antics because ESPN is owned by family-friendly Disney. 

The network did not comment on Pierce’s employment status, but insider sports journalists broke the news Monday on Twitter. 

Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports wrote: “BREAKING: ESPN and NBA Legend Paul Pierce have parted ways, according to sources. Pierce posted videos of himself with exotic dancers on Instagram Live Friday night. Pierce has played a key role on ‘NBA Countdown’ + other ESPN basketball programming. ESPN declined to comment.” 

Pierce tweeted a video of himself Monday afternoon smiling, with the caption, “Big Things coming soon stay tuned make sure u smile #Truthshallsetufree.” 

He later posted, “I can’t lose even when I lose I’m winning.” 

Speculation from fans is that he will soon join another outlet. One wrote: “Paul Pierce to Barstool you heard it here first.” 

“Paul Pierce survived 11 stab wounds and then went on to have a 1st ballot HOF NBA career,” sports journalist Ben Steinar wrote. “I think getting let go from a TV station is no big deal to him. Would love to see him at Barstool.” 

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Pierce played 16 seasons with the NBA, a career played almost entirely in Boston. He led the Celtics to a championship in 2008 and was named its finals’ MVP. He also did a few short stints with the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers. 

Pierce was named a finalist for the 2021 NBA Hall of Fame class. 

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