ESPN Fires Basketball Legend Paul Pierce Over Racy Poker Game Video

NBA legend Paul Pierce, an avid poker player, was canned from his job at ESPN as a basketball analyst over a video apparently involving strippers. The Instagram Live shows the former Boston Celtics forward at a home poker game where he appears to be smoking pot. Another clip shows scantily clad women dancing in the background, and massaging other players at the table.

paul pierce espn poker

Paul Pierce hosted a wild, but costly, game of poker. (Image:

Pierce is set to enter the Basketball Hall of Fame in May, along with the late Kobe Bryant. He finished his brilliant 19-year career, which included 15 seasons in Boston, in 2017. Since then, he’s become quite the poker enthusiast and has even competed on shows such as Poker After Dark on PokerGo.  In 2015, he came just a few spots short of the money in the WSOP Main Event.

Over the past couple of years, he’s expanded his horizons as a basketball television analyst on ESPN’s The Jump and NBA Countdown shows. The former Kansas Jayhawk All-American had some run-ins with his bosses and was already on thin ice at ESPN. A recent Instagram video put him in such hot water that he no longer has a job with the four-letter sports network.

Pierce video is racy

Pierce made more than $100 million during his basketball career, and that doesn’t even count endorsements. So, he’ll be fine financially following his dismissal from ESPN. But the video of the incident will remain on the internet forever.

Pierce, who was competing in a poker home game, took a video of the festivities on Instagram Live. He is seen in one video smoking weed and surrounded by apparent strippers, who were dancing and entertaining the guests. And, for some odd reason, players or spectators were throwing poker chips at each other, putting new meaning to splashing the pot.

ESPN didn’t care much for the shenanigans and promptly sent the poker-playing basketball star packing. The sports network declined to comment on the firing.

“According to sources, ESPN was particularly miffed that Pierce chose to put the videos out on his own accord. If he had been filmed doing the same activities and they became public by someone else, he may have kept his job,” the New York Post reports.

Pierce hasn’t commented on the firing directly. He did, however, post a brief video in which he spent four seconds laughing uncontrollably.

He then wrote: “I can’t lose even when I lose I’m winning.” Perhaps his next analyst role will be poker commentary on PokerGO.

To check out Pierce’s poker skills, you can watch NBA star’s five best poker hands

Written by
Jon Sofen
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years experience on the felt and more than five years working as professional poker media.

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