BOSTON (CBS) — Paul Pierce’s run at ESPN is over.
The Celtics legend and future Hall of Famer has “parted ways” with the network, after he went live on Instagram over the weekend in which he was drinking and smoking with exotic dancers. The news was reported by Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports, Ryan Glasspiegel, and Richard Deitsch of The Athletic.
BREAKING: ESPN and NBA Legend Paul Pierce have parted ways, according to sources.
Pierce posted videos of himself with exotic dancers on Instagram Live Friday night. Pierce has played a key role on 'NBA Countdown' + other ESPN basketball programming.
ESPN declined to comment.
— Michael McCarthy (@MMcCarthyREV) April 5, 2021
Shortly after the news broke, Pierce posted a video of himself laughing on Twitter, stating, “Big things coming soon stay tuned make sure u smile.”
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) April 5, 2021
The 43-year-old Pierce was a trending topic on Twitter on Saturday, after clips and images from his Instagram live video spread throughout social media. Pierce seemed to acknowledge his sudden Twitter fame with a wink and a nod on Saturday, when he sent out a simple “Good morning” tweet.
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) April 4, 2021
All of the reports of his departure from ESPN noted that he and the network have “parted ways,” opting to not use the term “fired.”
Pierce — who played 15 seasons with the Celtics from 1998-13, before spending time with the Nets, Wizards and Clippers at the end of his career — joined ESPN as an analyst in 2017. He regularly appeared on “NBA Countdown” and “The Jump.” Pierce’s No. 34 was retired in the rafters at the TD Garden in Boston in 2018.