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.
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.
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.”
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.