Future NBA Hall of Famer Paul Pierce has made headlines recently as a guest analyst on ESPN, most notably for proclaiming Kevin Durant better than LeBron James.
Now it appears that The Truth, who retired from the NBA when his Clippers were eliminated from the playoffs last month, might soon bring those hot takes, as well as all his more reasonable ones, to ESPN on a full-time basis.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch reports that ESPN wants to hire Pierce as a regular analyst and Pierce is interested in coming aboard. After doing guest work with ESPN and TNT in the past, Pierce has appeared this postseason on NBA Countdown alongside Michelle Beadle, Chauncey Billups and Jalen Rose, as well as on The Jump, hosted by Rachel Nichols. According to SI, he’s quite enjoying himself:
- NBC exec Jon Miller: ‘We have no desire to be the network of soccer’
- Inside The NBA pays tribute to retiring producer Tim Kiely: ‘You’re the best of all time.’
- The American Gladiators Documentary delivers, but not for the reasons you may have hoped for
- Kim Clijsters talks women’s sports’ drive for equality, International Tennis Hall of Fame, and more
“I can work in LA, which is where I am from, and I am already used to people at the network after working with them the last two years,” said Pierce, in an interview earlier this week. “And Beadle makes everyone feel comfortable. It just feels natural to me talking hoops and analyzing the game. I feel like I have been doing it forever.”
And here’s ESPN coordinating producer Amina Hussein:
“He has been a breath of fresh air and his credentials and personality work well with Jalen, Chauncey and Beadle,” Hussein said. “What I have always liked about Paul from a far and even more now working with him is that he is honest not afraid of the moment.”
ESPN has reportedly been chasing Pierce for a while, and it seems both sides have interest, leaving little obvious reason a deal won’t get done. Deitsch predicts he will have a seat on Countdown next year alongside Beadle, Billups and Rose.
Pierce’s biggest asset as an analyst could be his proximity to the game. He’s played against just about everyone in the NBA and rivaled many of the league’s stars, so he’s got a present-minded perspective you won’t find from, say, Rose, who retired in 2007.
Oh and also, Pierce should improve ESPN’s odds if they ever play that game against TNT.