Paul Pierce on 'Stars on Mars' via FOX YouTube

In the midst of a painfully awkward conversation, former NBA star Paul Pierce attempted to explain to Lance Armstrong how he lost his job at ESPN, because of an infamous video of him partying. In the Instagram clip, the hoopster filmed himself smoking and drinking with some strippers in his free time.

Paul Pierce Buries a 3 Pointer – 2003 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal | Ryan McCain via YouTube

The images didn’t portray him doing anything illegal, but ESPN brass moved to pull the trigger on the former three-point rifleman. After the video drew criticism and became a laughingstock, the network felt the need to protect its corporate image.

Since then, Paul Pierce has decried his termination on multiple occasions with the same mantra: “What did I do wrong?

“I got fired for having some entertainment,” he asserted. “I’m playing cards. It’s my boy’s birthday. It’s girls dancing. We’re (smoking pot). What did I do wrong?”

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Many fans and members of the media agreed, saying that Paul Pierce is a grown man who should be able to do whatever he wants in his personal life. However, ESPN as an entity has a duty to its parent company (Disney) to protect its advertising dollars. With the channel’s popularity and profitability dropping over the past several years, they have made similar, socially-conscious cuts like Pierce’s.

However, the Celtics great found a sympathetic ear from another athlete who knows a thing or two about sporting scandals himself. In a recent online conversation with disgraced former cyclist Lance Armstrong, Pierce did his best to try and clean up a dirty situation. However, the more he talked with the tainted Tour de France winner, the messier (and weirder) things seemed to get.

Paul Pierce’s facial expressions and speech were awkward. Armstrong came off as clueless and nerdy. Neither man really helped their image in discussing a topic that is probably just better left in the past.

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