On Monday afternoon, ESPN announced that it would part ways with Paul Pierce. The decision to cut ties with the former Boston Celtic came after he was spotted on Instagram Live hosting a party. In the background of his Instagram Live session, viewers could see dancers and some of his friends playing poker with music and food completing the festivities. Recordings of the Instagram Live sessions were shared across social media with a number of memes and comical captions. Some went as far as to joke that ESPN would let go of Pierce following the incident and those jokes proved to be true.
Pierce is a future inductee of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. The Inglewood, California native is a McDonald's All-American who spent three years playing for the University of Kansas. While in college, he won two Big 12 MVP awards and finished as the program's fifth-leading scorer. During his 19-year professional career, the Kansas Jayhawk star appeared in 10 NBA All-Star Games, earned four All-NBA selections and won the 2008 NBA Championship.
Just a few years after finishing his historic playing career, Pierce joined ESPN as a commentator and analyst. He appeared on shows like NBA Countdown and The Jump alongside the likes of Dwyane Wade, Rachel Nichols, Malika Andrews and Adrian Wojnarowski. Despite cutting ties with his employer, the basketball legend seemed unbothered by the entire situation.
"I can’t lose. Even when I lose, I’m winning," he tweeted after the news became public.
Recently, a number of employees have left ESPN to start their own companies and launch their own projects. Most notably, Jemele Hill and Cari Champion left ESPN and started their own show on VICE shortly thereafter. Not to mention, Hill has hosted multiple podcasts and joined former ESPN host Dan Le Batard on his latest venture, Meadowlark Media. Adding on, Michael Smith found a new home at Peacock. More recently, Stephen Jackson cut ties with the worldwide leader in sports and continued hosting his podcast, All The Smoke, with Matt Barnes.
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