The easiest edit that ESPN made during Sunday's tape-delayed ESPYs came fairly early in the broadcast when Justin Timberlake was teasing Paul Pierce about his "injured" knee in Game 1 of the NBA Finals during his opening monologue. In describing how Pierce quickly came back after being taken off on a wheelchair, Timberlake joked that Pierce was back on the court, "shucking and jiving." The comment, which was cut out of the broadcast that aired Sunday night, was met with silence from the crowd when the show taped on Wednesday before Timberlake transitioned into his next joke about Eli Manning.
The phrase, which has racial connotations originating from slavery, has been discussed recently when used by others, who like Timberlake, most likely weren't aware of its meaning and origin. It was the only real blemish in an otherwise stellar debut for Timberlake as the show's host that was still kept spotless thanks to a four-day tape delay.