ESPN has reportedly fired NBA analyst and Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce after he posted a racy Instagram Live video on Friday, April 2, partying in a room with exotic dancers. To make matters worse, no one in the video appeared to be wearing masks.
On Monday, April 5, it was revealed by insiders that the sports network parted ways with Pierce in light of his video last week. ESPN has yet to comment on Pierce's departure, but CNN confirmed the split via sources.
BREAKING: ESPN and NBA Legend Paul Pierce have parted ways, according to sources.— Michael McCarthy (@MMcCarthyREV) April 5, 2021
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 — who started at the network during the 2017-2018 season — seemed to address the situation via Twitter on Monday, April 5, with a cryptic video of himself laughing. "Big Things coming soon stay tuned make sure u smile #Truthshallsetufree," he captioned the short clip.
The 43-year-old also took to Instagram to reiterate the same message in a video of himself thanking his "supporters" and "haters" while noting that there are "bigger and better things coming baby." Nicknamed "The Truth," Pierce added: "Don't worry about it. You fall twice, you get up three times. Just always remember to smile baby."
One day later, the 10-time All-Star tweeted: "I can't lose even when I lose I'm winning."
I can’t lose even when I lose I’m winning 🤔🤔😳😃😃😃— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) April 6, 2021
In the scandalous video, the NBA icon went live in a room full of dancers while partying and apparently playing poker with friends, according to Front Office Sports — who first reported that ESPN fired Pierce. The outlet also claimed that Pierce was making around $1.5 million annually for his ESPN on-air gigs.
Pierce didn't seem worried about the repercussions following his Friday night Instagram Live, as he comically tweeted: "Good Morning" the following night on April 3 at 10:50 p.m.
Good morning— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) April 4, 2021
Pierce played in the NBA from 1998-2017 and led the Boston Celtics to a title in 2008, when he was named the Finals MVP. Pierce finished off his career by playing for the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers. In addition to his accomplishments, he was named a finalist for the 2021 Hall of Fame last month.
Pierce played a key role in multiple ESPN basketball programming, including NBA Countdown, Rachel Nichols’ weekday show The Jump and more.