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Matt Bonner
Bonner shoots.jpg
Matt Bonner shooting free throws
San Antonio Spurs  – No. 15
Forward/Center
Born April 5, 1980 (1980-04-05) (age 29)
Concord, New Hampshire
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
Listed weight 249 lb (113 kg)
League NBA
College Florida
Draft 2nd round, 45th overall, 2003
Chicago Bulls
Pro career 2003present
Former teams Sicilia Messina (2003–2004)
Toronto Raptors (2004–2006)
Profile Info Page

Matthew Robert "Matt" Bonner (born April 5, 1980) is an American professional basketball player currently with the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA. He's nicknamed Red Rocket.

Contents

High school

Matt Bonner attended Concord High School in Concord, New Hampshire. He played for the school's basketball team, helping them win three state championships. Due to the strong support by his parents, Mr. Bonner, a letter carrier, and Mrs. Bonner, an elementary school teacher in Concord, Matt graduated at the top of his class in academics.[1]

Matt has two younger siblings. Matt's brother, Luke Bonner, attended the University of Massachusetts and played basketball there, and now plays professionally in Hungary. Matt's sister, Becky, is the Director of Basketball Operations for the University of Louisville women's basketball program.

College

Standing 6'10" at 240 lb, Bonner was drafted out of the University of Florida by the Chicago Bulls in the 2nd round of the 2003 NBA Draft and then traded to the Toronto Raptors. While playing for the Florida Gators, Bonner amassed 1,570 points 778 rebounds and 165 three pointers and finished his career ranked in the top 10 in six categories. Bonner graduated from Florida with a 3.96 GPA and was named the Verizon Academic All-American of the Year for the sport of basketball in both 2002 and 2003.[2][3]

International career

The Toronto Raptors recognized the potential in Bonner but did not have a roster position available. Bonner was asked to spend a year in Europe honing his skills with a verbal promise to give him a shot at making the team in 2004.

After signing with Sicilia Messina of the Italian league based in Messina, Sicily, 2003 proved to be a harrowing year for Bonner. Bonner survived a 104.5 degree Fahrenheit fever brought on by a bout of salmonella (treated by the team dentist) most likely caused by a lack of running hot water in his apartment. Sicilia had filed for bankruptcy in the middle of the season and had stopped paying its players. Bonner's heat and electricity were shut off and he was given two eviction notices. Despite half the team leaving, Bonner stuck it out and finished the year averaging 19.2 points and 9.3 rebounds.[4]

NBA career

Bonner signing autographs during his Raptors days

Bonner signed with the Raptors before the 2004–05 NBA season, averaging 7.2 points per game and played in all 82 of the Raptors' games. Matt received the nickname "Red Rocket" during the same season due to the fact that he has red hair and was constantly sighted on the public transit in Toronto, the TTC, whose streetcars are red and slogan is 'Ride the Rocket'.

Matt Bonner's first prominent moment as a Raptor occurred on December 2004 during an exciting game at the Air Canada Centre. Extending for a rebound, he knocked all-star Kevin Garnett from behind, sending him sprawling to the ground prompting the two players to get into a heated exchange. The crowd chanted "Bonner, Bonner" as he was ejected from the game. This immediately established Matt as a fan favorite with Raptors fans rallying behind Bonner.

In the 2005–06 season Bonner played 78 games averaging 7.5 points per game, 3.6 rebounds per game and shot 44.8% from the field. He ranked 14th in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage, and was one of the first players the Raptors looked to for three-point shots.

On June 21, 2006, Bonner was traded with Eric Williams and a second round pick in the 2006 NBA Draft to the San Antonio Spurs for Radoslav Nesterovic and cash considerations.

While with the Spurs in the 2006–07 season, Bonner played in 56 games averaging 4.9 points per game in 11.7 minutes per game. The team went on to win the league championship and Bonner received his championship ring in a ceremony on October 30, 2007 prior to a game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

On December 11, 2007, Bonner registered career highs of 25 points and 17 rebounds in a loss to the Golden State Warriors.[5]

Personal

Until receiving a C on a chemistry exam in college, Bonner had never received a B as final grade in any class throughout his academic career.[6] Among Bonner's favorite food is a Mr. Sub smoked turkey breast submarine sandwich with mayo and mustard on whole wheat.[7] Bonner bought his car, a white Pontiac Grand Prix, in New Hampshire to avoid paying sales tax.[8] He chose it because it had good leg room and decent gas mileage.[8] In 2008, Bonner signed with New Balance to produce his own basketball shoe.[9]

Awards

  • 2002–03 Honorable Mention All-American
  • 2002–03 Verizon Academic All-American of the Year
  • 2002–03 All-SEC First Team by Associated Press
  • 2002–03 All-SEC First Team by Coaches
  • 2002–03 SEC Leader In Three-Point Shooting Percentage(.474)
  • 2002–03 All-SEC Academic pick
  • 2001–02 Honorable Mention All-American
  • 2001–02 Verizon Academic All-American of the Year
  • 2001–02 All-SEC Second Team
  • 2001–02 All-SEC Academic pick
  • 2000–01 All-SEC Third Team
  • 2000–01 All-SEC Academic pick
  • 1999–00 NHIAA Champions – Concord HS
  • 1998–99 NHIAA Champions – Concord HS
  • 1997–98 NHIAA Champions – Concord HS

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2004–05 Toronto 82 0 18.9 .533 .424 .789 3.5 .6 .5 .2 7.2
2005–06 Toronto 78 6 21.9 .448 .420 .829 3.6 .7 .6 .4 7.5
2006–07 San Antonio 56 0 11.7 .447 .383 .711 2.8 .4 .3 .2 4.9
2007–08 San Antonio 68 3 12.5 .416 .336 .864 2.8 .5 .2 .2 4.8
2008–09 San Antonio 81 67 23.8 .496 .440 .739 4.8 1.0 .6 .3 8.2
Career 365 76 18.3 .476 .409 .798 3.6 .7 .4 .2 6.7

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2006–07 San Antonio 9 0 2.8 .286 .250 1.000 .3 .0 .2 .0 .8
2007–08 San Antonio 2 0 4.5 .667 .000 .000 1.0 1.0 .0 .0 2.0
2008–09 San Antonio 5 5 20.0 .217 .231 1.000 3.2 .0 .6 .4 3.0
Career 16 5 8.4 .273 .235 1.000 1.3 .1 .3 .1 1.6

Notes

External links

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Simple English

Matt Bonner is a NBA basketball player for the San Antonio Spurs.


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