Paul Pierce is a veteran NBA star who went on to become a face of ESPN's NBA Countdown after nearly two decades on the court, but now the former basketball star is out at the sports network. ESPN fired Pierce just days after Pierce posted videos of himself with exotic dancers and clearly not observing any social distancing measures, and went viral for them.
ESPN has yet to comment on reports that Paul Pierce has been fired at the time of writing, with Michael McCarthy reporting on Twitter that "sources" confirmed the parting of the ways while ESPN "declined" to comment. There is no confirmation one way or the other that Pierce has been removed from NBA Countdown due to the Instagram Live videos, but the timing certainly suggests that they at the very least played a part.
Paul Pierce had been part of NBA Countdown on ESPN since 2017, and brought a considerable amount of insight to the program thanks to his 19 seasons in the NBA, most of which he spent in Boston as a small forward for the Celtics. Pierce has not released a statement about the firing or the circumstances, but he did take to Twitter himself to post a video:
In the post and quick video, Paul Pierce doesn't give away any details about what happened, but the laughter and #smile certainly indicate that he's not taking it as hard as he could! The #truthshallsetufree part of the post is intriguing, as is the promise of "Big Things" that are coming soon, but fans will have to wait and see what he has in store. More immediately, fans have taken to Twitter with some reactions to news of his firing.
In case you thought that ESPN viewers wouldn't immediately go for jokes about Paul Pierce just days after the racy Instagram videos, then you were very wrong! (And possibly not too familiar with Twitter.) Of course, part of the reason for the quick outpouring of jokes might have something to do with the fact that the Instagram videos seemed like they were bound to cause some trouble for Pierce, although him being fired might not have been entirely expected. Then again, there is a lot that's unknown at the moment.
Paul Pierce may have promised "Big Things" on the way and his status as a former NBA star may mean that he has a lot of resources at his disposal, but the prospect of reentering the job market can't be fun! LinkedIn and Indeed time?
Whether or not the Instagram videos had a major part to play in the end of Paul Pierce's time at ESPN, it's definitely safe to say that the former Celtic did not channel the spirit of Smithers from The Simpsons on Friday night.
Another fan took a different perspective and noted that the Instagram Live videos that revealed Paul Pierce with the exotic dancers only accumulated 315 viewers, at least at the time of the screenshot. That's not a ton of viewers when it comes to an NBA legend and TV personality, and definitely not when considering how very many more people saw the videos after the incident went viral.
Another fan took a more investigative tack toward the fact that Paul Pierce only had around 300 viewers, and that is that there are only so many options for who could have been the person to bring what happened on Instagram Live over to Twitter, where the video went viral. Will that ever happen, especially now that the story is theoretically over with Pierce fired?
Only time will tell on that front, and the jokes may not go away any time soon, but it seems that Paul Pierce won't be found on ESPN any time soon either, if at all. For some more viewing options now and in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our 2021 winter and spring premiere schedule.