Paul Pierce just found out what happens when keeping it real goes wrong. The NBA champion was fired from ESPN after he went on Instagram Live while hanging out with a group of strippers.
The former Boston Celtics player partied it up on Friday night and wanted his followers to get a peek at the turnup. Pierce was getting his haircut and playing poker with his friends while exotic dancers twerked in the background and offered him massages, Cassius Life reports.
While it all appeared to be in good fun for the retired NBA player, ESPN found the content to be too racy and ended their business relationship with the analyst, Front Office Sports reports. Pierce first joined ESPN ahead of the 2017-2018 season. The former NBA Finals MVP would often appear on NBA Countdown, Rachel Nichols’ weekday show The Jump, and other ESPN programming centered around basketball. Pierce was reportedly raking in around $1.5 million a year from his ESPN gigs. The analyst position came after Piece earned around $195 million during his 19-year NBA career, Spotrac reports.
On Monday, Pierce appeared to respond to his termination through a cryptic video he shared on Twitter that showed him laughing at the camera. “Big Things coming soon stay tuned make sure u smile. #Truthshallsetufree,” he captioned the short video. Shortly thereafter, Pierce sent out another tweet subliminally addressing the situation. “I can’t lose even when I lose I’m winning.”
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) April 5, 2021
With ESPN being a company owned by the family-friendly Walt Disney Co., Pierce’s raunchy Instagram Live and lack of face masks were apparently too much for the network’s public appeal. During his two-decade NBA career, Pierce was named NBA Finals Most Valuable Player in 2008, the 10th overall pick in the 1998 NBA draft, and an NBA Champion in 2008.
Becoming a sports analyst is a typical go-to move for many retired NBA players like Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neill, and Kenny Smith. Others have found success in starting their own show like Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson’s “All The Smoke” podcast. It looks like Paul Pierce already has his next business moves figured out.