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Paul Pierce, who won an NBA title with the Boston Celtics in 2008, was fired after he was seen partying in an Instagram livestream video

By Jason Duaine Hahn
April 06, 2021 04:37 PM
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Credit: Johnny Nunez/Getty Images

NBA legend Paul Pierce has parted ways with ESPN after hosting a racy Instagram livestream over the weekend, PEOPLE has confirmed.

Pierce — who won an NBA title in 2008 with the Boston Celtics — went live on Instagram last Friday night to share footage of himself smoking and playing card games in a room with women who were dancing in skimpy lingerie and identified by some outlets as exotic dancers. No one in the video appeared to be following COVID-19 safety protocols. (The NSFW clip can be seen here.)

The video quickly became a trending topic on social media on Friday night and Saturday morning, with hundreds of users speculating whether the 43-year-old would be terminated from ESPN, where he regularly served as an analyst on NBA Countdown and The Jump since the 2017-2018 NBA season. 

On Monday, Front Office Sports reported that Pierce had split from the network. Freelance sports reporter Ryan Glasspiegel also reported that Pierce was fired. Pierce seemed to confirm the news on social media by posting a cryptic video to his Instagram page.

"Yo, I just want to thank all my supporters, I want to thank my haters and everything. Look, but check it out, bigger and better things coming, baby," Pierce — who also played for the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards and L.A. Clippers before retiring in 2017 — said in the clip. "Don't worry about it, fall twice you get up three times."

"Just always remember to smile, baby," he added to his followers.

Pierce's representative did not immediately return PEOPLE's request for comment. ESPN declined to comment.

Pierce also shared a video of himself laughing on Monday morning, seemingly in response.

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"I can't lose even when I lose I'm winning," Pierce said in a follow-up tweet.

Over his nearly two-decade NBA career, Pierce earned 10 All-Star appearances and was named Finals MVP during the Celtics' 2008 title run. In March, he was selected as a finalist for the 2021 Hall of Fame.