We recently observed the second anniversary of then-ESPN NBA basketball analyst Paul Pierce going on an Instagram Live stream late on a Friday night that pictured a poker game and some casually dressed guests enjoying a smoky room. We also observed the second anniversary of ESPN and Pierce parting ways. Both sides have moved on yet it's still something the former Celtic gets asked about when he's on a podcast and so from time to time more details emerged.
As they did on the most recent episode of I Am Athlete, where Pierce wondered aloud what he did wrong in what has to be an homage to George Costanza.
"I got fired for having some entertainment," he said. "It’s girls dancing and we blowing some tree, what did I do wrong?”
It seems like this is just some old friends chopping it up and having a good time in front of microphones in the name of laughter and content. And not Pierce needing any further clarity on what the offense was that prevented a Disney-owned company from sticking by him. But if he does, it doesn't exactly take Benoit Blanc to crack the case.
Paul himself solves it by saying he recorded and released the video. That's what did it. Even if Pierce has spent the time since engineering a narrative that he was done with ESPN anyway.
It wasn't so much the content of the video. It was the judgement to release it. And again, this feels like something everyone probably understood at the time.
If Pierce was going to leave anyway and is happy, that's great. Anyone crafting ESPN's image seeing today's video on the timeline isn't going to have any regrets about cutting the cord when they did.