Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce isn’t too upset about his split from ESPN. Pierce said he was a bad fit at the network, and didn’t enjoy talking about LeBron James “all the time,” according to Sports Illustrated.
Pierce was fired from ESPN in April after he posted a video in which he was at a gathering with strippers. Pierce put the video on Instagram live. People saved the video and posted it all over social media.
Days after the video emerged, ESPN and Pierce “parted ways.” Pierce wasn’t too upset about that. He knew things with ESPN weren’t working out, according to SI.
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.”
Pierce’s agent reportedly wanted Pierce to apologize for live streaming the video. His agent was mostly concerned that the video could impact Pierce’s Hall of Fame chances. It didn’t. Pierce was voted in as part of the 2021 class.
ESPN did not ask Pierce for an apology for streaming the video.
Paul Pierce has feud with LeBron James
Pierce made it pretty obvious he wasn’t James’ biggest fan. Last May, Pierce left James off Pierce’s list of top-5 NBA players of all-time. Pierce has also called himself James’ biggest rival.
It’s assumed Pierce and James have bad blood over a near fight that reportedly took place in 2004.
Pierce and James also met in a number of high profile games during the back half of Pierce’s career, which only fueled that rivalry.