ESPN fired NBA analyst and former Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce on Monday, just days after his wild Instagram Live, according to sources. The decision was made after Pierce posted racy Instagram videos on Friday night, showing him smoking what appeared to be marijuana and with scantily clad women who may have been strippers.
He also showed the strippers dancing in an NSFW manner. Needless to say, since he technically works for Disney given that ESPN is now owned by the company, the higher-ups at Disney don't want the image and video of one of their employees hanging out with strippers going viral since Disney products are mostly known for children's entertainment.
Going Wild on Friday Night
Pierce, 43, has been on a bit of a downward trajectory at ESPN but had hung on enough where he was a regular contributor to its top studio shows, NBA Countdown and The Jump. During a recent show, he went on the air and said the wrong team won. He was quickly corrected.
However, on Saturday morning he did something that he will only regret now. Pierce went live on Instagram posted a video that went immediately viral. The video and images posted by Pierce featured a house party of some kind, with dancing, smoking and drinking, and NBA players were almost live-tweeting the action, both as it was happening in real time and once the videos began making the rounds after the fact.
Actually, right from the moment he posted the racy video with semi-nude strippers, speculation was rife that Pierce's current employer, Disney, would not be thrilled with what was shown.
It's All Over
Much like many had expected, on Monday evening, Pierce was fired by ESPN for posting the racy video. According to sources, ESPN was particularly more agitated and miffed because Pierce chose to put shoot the video and post it on his own accord. If he had been filmed doing the same activities and they became public by someone else, he may have had not lost his job.
However, even after the video went viral Pierce didn't seem too bothered by the news on social media. Instead, he took to Twitter on Monday to posted a four-second video that said, "Smile" and the message, "Big Things coming soon stay tuned make sure u smile #Truthshallsetufree." But little had Pierce imagined that the video would change his post-retirement career forever.
Interestingly, Pierce's ouster from ESPN comes just months before he is expected to be voted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. ESPN, on the other hand, hasn't commented on its decision to fire Pierce.
Pierce played in the NBA from 1998-2017, almost entirely for the Celtics. The 10-time All-Star helped lead Boston to a title in 2008, when he was named the Finals MVP, and averaged nearly 22 points and six rebounds per game over his 15 seasons with the franchise. Pierce then wrapped up his career with short stints on the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers.