Future Hall of Famer Paul Pierce had his basketball career come to an end this postseason when the LA Clippers lost in the first round to the Utah Jazz. Pierce’s retirement tour this year was relatively quiet but it did feature a memorable moment in Boston during the regular season and he made sure to give Celtics fans one more highlight by sending out this hilarious tweet during the NBA Draft Lottery reminding everyone of the trade he was a part of to deliver Boston the #1 overall pick in this year’s draft from the Brooklyn Nets.
And look what I leave behind for the Celts on my way out #1 pick?????
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) May 17, 2017
While Pierce was looking back in that tweet it’s also clear he’s looking forward and thinking about what’s next. For the second straight year, he’ll be a guest analyst for ESPN’s coverage of the NBA Finals on ABC. In addition, Pierce will also make appearances throughout the week on ESPN’s new NBA show The Jump with Rachel Nichols.
Here’s the announcement via ESPN:
ESPN today announced that Paul Pierce, former NBA Finals MVP and 10-time All-Star, is joining the NBA Countdown team for pre-game and halftime shows throughout the NBA Finals on ABC. Pierce will join fellow former NBA Finals MVP Chauncey Billups, analyst Jalen Rose and host Michelle Beadle to form this year’s quartet.
This is the second consecutive season that Pierce has contributed to ABC’s and ESPN’s NBA Finals coverage. In addition, Pierce will make regular appearances on ESPN’s The Jump with host Rachel Nichols throughout the NBA Finals. Pierce will first appear on The Jump today, May 17, at 3 p.m. ET and he will also contribute to ESPN’s SportsCenter coverage through the NBA Finals.
NBA Countdown and The Jump will take their shows on the road for live, on-site telecasts during the NBA Finals. NBA Countdown will air prior to NBA Finals game broadcasts, while The Jump will air live at 3 p.m., Monday-Friday, on ESPN.
With this being Pierce’s second run with ESPN it’s pretty clear that he’s very interested in a media career that his playing days are now done. Pierce checks all the boxes for everything ESPN would be looking for in a top studio analyst. He’s always been a good soundbite during his playing days and willing to speak out on a number of topics and a multiple-time All-Star and former Finals MVP with the best credentials possible. And he’s already started making some news, appearing on The Jump Wednesday and saying the Celtics should trade the No. 1 pick for immediate help.
ESPN might be in cost-cutting mode but as we’ve seen the last couple weeks with numerous on-air talent re-signings being announced by the network, they aren’t completely averse to making a more positive move as long as it’s the right fit. Bringing Paul Pierce on board full-time for their NBA coverage would seem to be just that.