After an impressive trial-run during last season’s NBA Playoffs, Paul Pierce has officially joined ESPN full-time as a studio analyst.
Freshly retired from a 19-year career that will land him in the Hall of Fame, Pierce will appear on The Jump, as well as on NBA Countdown.
“I always had fun doing guest coverage with ESPN, so it is exciting to officially join the teams at NBA Countdown and The Jump,” Pierce said in a release. “I love hoops, my whole life has been about the game, so this feels like a natural evolution in my career and I can’t wait for the season to get started.”
Pierce earned positive reviews for his performance on NBA Countdown last spring, showing off the type of insight that comes from having played against all the stars he was commenting on. He also showed off a flare for the bold opinion with his controversial proclamation that Kevin Durant had surpassed LeBron James as the league’s best player.
In June, SI’s Richard Deitsch reported that Pierce was in serious talks about joining ESPN full-time. Now it is official.
ESPN announced Thursday that Pierce will appear multiple times a week on The Jump, alongside Rachel Nichols and Tracy McGrady and that he will also appear on NBA Countdown with Michelle Beadle, Chauncey Billups and Jalen Rose. With Rose reportedly headed for a prominent role on Mike Greenberg’s new morning show, ESPN could get Pierce comfortable on Countdown while easing Rose out—or simply use a four-person panel long-term.
Pierce is knowledgeable about the game and plugged into the current happenings in the NBA, and he’s also willing to laugh and appears comfortable in front of a camera. He is a promising hire for ESPN.