ESPN and NBA champion Paul Pierce have parted ways after the basketball star shared a video on social media of him smoking and drinking with half-dressed women, multiple sources close to the situation tell NBC News.
The split comes after Pierce posted the inappropriate video on his Instagram Live over the weekend. ESPN, which is owned by The Walt Disney Company, declined to comment.
Pierce, who spent most of his 19-season NBA career with the Boston Celtics, worked for ESPN as an analyst on “NBA Countdown” and was often featured on “The Jump” with host Rachel Nichols. Pierce, 43, is married with three kids.
On Monday, as news of Pierce’s ousting began to get out, he posted a video to Twitter of him laughing. “Big Things coming soon stay tuned make sure u smile #Truthshallsetufree,” he wrote, referring to his nickname “The Truth.”
On Instagram, he posted a video thanking his “supporters” and his “haters.”
“Bigger and better things coming, baby,” Pierce said. “Fall twice, get up three times. Just remember to smile.”
Pierce, in fact, may not be out of work for long. Shortly after news broke that ESPN had dropped him, Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy appeared to be recruiting him on Twitter for his sports and pop culture blog.
Elisha Fieldstadt is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.
Diana Dasrath is entertainment producer and senior reporter for NBC News covering all platforms.