It’s safe to say Paul Pierce was not devastated when he was fired from his most-recent high profile job.
Pierce back in early April was let go by ESPN, where he started working almost immediately after his NBA playing career came to an end in 2017. Pierce’s termination came on the heels of the Boston Celtics legend’s now-infamous Instagram live video, which saw Pierce drinking and smoking while playing poker, among other things.
The Basketball Hall of Famer touched on his ESPN exit in a Sports Illustrated profile published Tuesday. As it turns out, Pierce never was crazy about his gig(s) with the Worldwide Leader in Sports.
“ESPN didn’t ask for an apology,” Chris Mannix wrote. “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.'”
One can understand why Pierce might not be keen on talking ad nauseam about LeBron James. The pair became rivals upon James’ arrival in the league in 2003 and the tension only heightened in the years to come. James’ Miami Heat halted the Celtics’ season in both 2011 and 2012, which effectively signaled the end of the “The Big Three” era in Boston.
Where Pierce lands next remains to be seen. But if he gives media another shot, he clearly won’t be champing at the bit to talk King James.