ESPN Parts Ways With NBA Analyst Paul Pierce for Partying on Instagram Live With Strippers

The 10-time All-Star, 43, was a regular on "NBA Countdown" and "The Jump"

Ex-Celtics player Paul Pierce
Ex-Celtics player Paul Pierce during a game against the Bucks at TD Garden.
Adam Glanzman/Getty

After willingly going on Instagram Live on Friday night of Easter Weekend with a room full of strippers, the Truth has been set free by ESPN.

NBA analyst Paul Pierce and ESPN have parted ways after the video the 43-year-old shared in which he can be seen smoking and playing poker while several women twerk in the background went viral. 

While Pierce didn’t do anything illegal in the clip, ESPN’s parent company Disney probably was not too pleased with the optics of a married father-of-three hanging out with exotic dancers live on social media.

Also, according to The New York Post, Pierce’s employer was annoyed about the content of the video as well as the manner in which it became public. “ESPN was particularly miffed that Pierce chose to put the videos out of his own accord,” The Post reported. “If he had been filmed doing the same activities and they had been made public by someone else, he might have kept his job.”

A 10-time All-Star during his playing days, Pierce joined ESPN full-time ahead of the 2017-2018 season and was a regular on NBA Countdown and The Jump. He was earning around $1.5 million annually from The Worldwide Leader, according to Front Office Sports.

After reports that Pierce and ESPN had parted ways hit the internet, the former Finals MVP shared a few short videos and a brief message indicating that he’s ready to move on to the next chapter of his career, whatever that may be.

Writing for The Athletic, senior sports media writer Richard Deitsch explained why Pierce, who is expected to be voted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this year, was let go and speculated what could be next for the former Boston Celtic, Brooklyn Net, Washington Wizard and LA Clipper.

“Ultimately, Pierce works for Disney, an image-conscious company,” according to Deitsch. “All talent employment contracts have some kind of morals clause and as many lawyers have said when it comes to these kinds of contracts, the company has a lot of discretion on decision-making. I would have guessed that ESPN would have waited out the news cycle. The reality is Pierce isn’t a difference-maker on television for them and the rules for television difference-makers are not equal versus others. I expect Pierce to land at another media entity — or do his own podcast — if he is so inclined.”

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