On a recent viral Instagram video, NBA legend Paul Pierce lauded the Jewish ritual of a sit-down Shabbat dinner.
Unfortunately for his employment prospects at ESPN, where he had worked as an on-air analyst since retiring from basketball in 2017, the video also featured him smoking marijuana, playing cards, and cavorting with scantily clad women while ignoring covid-19 social distancing protocols. According to many reports, ESPN fired the former Celtics star in the wake of the video.
Pierce is not Jewish, but during the video, which was live-streamed from his house over the weekend, he said the family style of meal on the Jewish Sabbath contrasts with his upbringing.
At first, Pierce says that a friend playing poker across the room “skipped Shabbat” to attend his party. The friend retorts that he isn’t Jewish.
“Hey man, shout-out to all the Jews for Shabbat. I wish I could come to Shabbat,” Pierce says in response. “Shout-out to all my Jewish homies, I got love, I know Friday night’s your night … I’ll see y’all on Sunday.”
He then tells his feed of Instagram commenters that he would like to attend a Shabbat dinner.
“Can somebody invite me to [their] Shabbat? I would love to have a sit down meal like that, ‘cause I really never had that type of family environment growing up, you know what I’m saying? I would love to join one of y’all Shabbats. I never had that in my life … I never had my pops around,” Pierce says.
He then looks seriously into the camera and says “I don’t know. I wish I could see what that’s like.”