Skip Bayless’ Undisputed Is Reportedly Adding An NBA Vet, And I Might Have To Pull Out Some Popcorn And Watch The Show

Skip Bayless on Undisputed
(Image credit: FS1)

When it comes to sports talk shows, there are few personalities that can drum up more buzz (and occasionally controversy) than Skip Bayless. FS1’s Undisputed host continues to draw viewers in with his pointed takes on athletics. However, what some may have noticed by now is that he hasn’t had a steady on-air foil since Shannon Sharpe exited the program during the summer of 2023. In the aftermath of his departure, several notable pundits have been brought in. But, now, I’m truly interested in watching, as an NBA vet (who’s appeared on the show before) is reportedly being brought back for a more consistent gig (Anyone else thinking about popping popcorn?)

Undisputed is apparently welcoming Paul Pierce back to the fold following a few past appearances on the show. What’s different, however, is that the Boston Celtics great will be a regular contributor, according to The New York Post. The news outlet also reports that a formal deal has yet to be signed. However, both sides could officially settle on an agreement as early as this week. As of this writing, the network has not commented on the matter. 

Paul Pierce on The Jump

(Image credit: ESPN)

This is a shrewd move on the entertainment company’s move, as it coincides with the meat of the NBA season. The playoffs are set to begin at the end of April, so it would definitely be to the show’s benefit to have someone who’s an experienced player and pundit. Aside from being a 19-season professional basketball vet, Paul Pierce – whose nickname was “The Truth” – joined ESPN in 2017, before being fired over a racy Instagram video in 2021. Pierce was known for his outspoken nature on The Jump and NBA Countdown and consistently dropped hot takes.

Up to this point, the former Kansas Jayhawk’s appearances on the Fox-produced show have been relatively tame. However, at that point, he was a guest and, as a regular contributor, he might feel more comfortable and inclined to speak out. And, as mentioned, he also had no trouble voicing his blunt thoughts amid his previous gigs. His conversations with the series' main host could be especially testy in the midst of the playoffs, when emotions amongst analysts can run high. So I think I will grab a few snacks and tune in to some of those telecasts.

Some longtime viewers of the show would probably welcome a return to the one-on-one debate format that it was once famous for. As noted by the Post, a panel-style format has more so been the norm as of late. Though Keyshawn Johnson has taken on the post of a foil to Skip Bayless as of late. It would be great to see another personality go head to head with Bayless – who gained notoriety on ESPN’s nearly cancelled First Take – on a regular basis.

Shannon Sharpe left some major shoes to fill when he opted to leave the show in June 2023. Up to that point, tensions between him and his co-host seemed to have reached a high point. The alleged strife between the two seemed to begin in January of that year after Skip Bayless made widely criticized comments after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field during a game. After missing a taping, Sharpe returned only to leave after 45 seconds due to a squabble with Bayless. Now, the Super Bowl champion appears on First Take, where he accidentally referred to Stephen A. Smith as “Skip” multiple times. (Smith took no issue with that and could understand the slip-ups.)

If we’re being real, Paul Pierce doesn’t exactly have the energy that Shannon Sharpe possesses. However, his personality is strong enough that he could definitely throw out some sharp thoughts if prompted. So let’s sit back, relax and prepare ourselves to take in what this sports show has to offer.

Undisputed airs daily Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. ET on FS1 as part of the 2024 TV schedule.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.