ESPN fired NBA analyst Paul Pierce after the Boston Celtics legend posted a racy Instagram Live video over the weekend. The video featured Pierce in a room with exotic dancers.
The cable sports network ended its working relationship with Pierce Monday, an industry source told CNN Business. ESPN declined to comment on Pierce leaving the network. Representatives for Pierce also did not immediately respond for requests for comment. The news of Pierce’s firing was first reported by Front Office Sports.
Pierce was an analyst for the network on multiple NBA shows. That included the studio show, “The Jump” and its pregame show “NBA Countdown.” Pierce, who went by the nickname “The Truth,” won an NBA championship with the Celtics in 2008.
Pierce joined ESPN before the 2017-2018 season.
The racy nature of the live stream was likely a breaking point for ESPN — a company owned by the family-friendly Walt Disney (DIS) Company. Also, Pierce and others in the video do not appear to be wearing masks or following Covid protocols that have been set up at the network.
Pierce seemingly addressed the situation on Twitter shortly after the news broke.
On Monday, Pierce posted a short video of him smiling with the caption, “Big Things coming soon stay tuned make sure u smile #Truthshallsetufree.”
Later on Monday, he tweeted again writing, “I can’t lose even when I lose I’m winning.”
It is unclear if anyone will replace Pierce on ESPN’s NBA programming or if the network will just rotate in other commentators, reporters and analysts to fill his spot.