Paul Pierce was canned by ESPN back in April after broadcasting an Instagram live session that featured strippers, twerking, smoking, and drinking. None of those things are illegal in the United States of America, but ESPN is a Disney-owned company, and the IG experience was not exactly family-friendly. Somebody in the comments even asked where Rachel Nichols was, which caused her name to trend, ironically a few months before she herself would get the Worldwide Leader’s muzzle.
Pierce came out in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix and talked about all of this, basically saying that he’s sorry for nothing.
From the story:
ESPN didn’t ask for an apology. The relationship between Pierce and the network had become strained over the past two years. Pierce hated the travel. Network executives didn’t think he was working hard enough. The video, industry sources told Sports Illustrated, was the last straw. “I was done with them, anyway,” says Pierce between pulls of lemon mint. “It wasn’t a great fit. There’s a lot of stuff over there that you can’t say. And you have to talk about LeBron all the time.”
That’s pretty damn good. We all know it, and basically anybody with a set of ears knows it, but to hear Pierce confirm that you had to “talk about LeBron all the time” is funny.
Pierce’s longtime agent, Jeff Schwartz, suggested Pierce apologize anyway. Schwartz worried that the video might influence Hall voters. Pierce didn’t. “Come on, I didn’t do anything illegal,” says Pierce. “These motherf—–s in the Hall of Fame, some did [cocaine], f—ing battery. What the f— did I do? I was just having a good time. All the people coming after me, half you motherf—–s do the same s—. You’re just hiding it. And you all are married while you’re doing it. I’m divorced. I’m retired. I’m having fun.” And if Hall voters had held it against him? “Listen,” says Pierce, “if I didn’t make it with this class, it would be the biggest stiff job in Hall of Fame history.”
Well, I guess you can’t disagree with that. Pierce was having fun. Nothing illegal. And this Hall of Fame class includes Chris Bosh, Ben Wallace, Rick Adelman, and others. He’s got the ring, the stats, the longevity, and the individual accolades as well. He was a shoe-in for the Hall.