Last Friday night, an Instagram Live session of a rendezvous of Paul Pierce went viral. Pierce, a 43-year-old basketball soon-to-be Hall of Famer, was very clearly enjoying a night that was not very “Disney” (parent company of ESPN) friendly. Pierce is a former Boston Celtic and current analyst on several ESPN publications. He is a fun personality that’s never afraid of a take and offers insight from his days as a player. We have successfully spent several days breaking down what happened. Frankly, well before Paul Pierce woke up the next day, many had already spent a lot of time condemning his behavior.
Good morning— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) April 4, 2021
(Check the time stamp…)
Paul Pierce has, as of Monday afternoon, been terminated by ESPN. This came as a shock to some, as Pierce is one of the highest-profile former NBA players with the worldwide leader in sports. Clearly, Pierce’s public persona and ESPN, Disney, and Mickey Mouse don’t vibe.
This is not the first time Pierce has been in trouble. While an incident in 2000 had a much more life-threatening and traumatic outcome, Pierce is known to enjoy the nightlife. And there’s nothing illegal about what he did- the dancers in the video were all paid, all substances consumed in the video are legal in Massachusetts, and Pierce was off of company time.
However, we know that that’s not how this goes. Pierce represents a brand, and that brand won’t associate with what Pierce was doing.
We at Belly Up Sports, however, are what they aren’t.
The largest looming question for Paul Pierce is obvious: what’s next? Pierce seems to have his own answer…
Pierce, nicknamed “The Truth,” is hard around the edges. Pierce, like the actual truth, isn’t always easy for everyone. But the truth shall, as Pierce tweets, set you free.
The truth is Paul Pierce will have bigger offers. Pierce will get offered by Fox, by The Athletic, by Count the Dings, Slam, etc… but each of those are just another big name. Pierce’s brand is clearly being built as him building this brand. Where can he go?
Somewhere that is what the others aren’t.
Belly Up Sports is a brand built on having lots of different voices, thoughts, and opinions covering lots of different sports from lots of different parts of the country. Pierce, a native of Los Angeles, an alum of Kansas, and a fan favorite in Boston. His opinions and takes are known for being dripped in homerism on their way to viral sensationalism.
In a word? He’s perfect. He’s built for this.
And that’s The Truth.