|Boston Celtics – No. 34|
|Small forward/Shooting guard|
|Born||October 13, 1977
|Listed height||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Listed weight||235 lb (107 kg)|
|High school||Inglewood HS
|Draft||10th overall, 1998
NBA Finals MVP
8× NBA All-Star
All-NBA Second Team
3x All-NBA Third Team
(2002, 2003, 2008)
NBA All-Rookie First Team
NBA 3-Point Shootout champion
Arnold "Red" Auerbach Award
Paul Anthony Pierce (born October 13, 1977 in Oakland, California), nicknamed The Truth, is an American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the NBA. He earned First Team All-America honors in his junior year at Kansas, and has been a starter every season since being selected by the Celtics with the 10th overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft. He is an eight-time All-Star, four-time All-NBA team selection and also led Boston to an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2002 and the 2008 championship. He was named the 2008 NBA Finals MVP in his first trip to the NBA Finals.
Pierce was raised in Inglewood, a suburb of Los Angeles, California, where he was the star of Inglewood High School's basketball team during his junior and senior years. He was cut from the varsity team his freshman and sophomore years, and even thought about transferring schools, but eventually decided to work harder and keep trying to make the team. He also participated in the 1995 McDonald's All-American Game alongside future NBA stars Kevin Garnett, Stephon Marbury, Vince Carter, and Antawn Jamison, and was a contestant in the game's Slam Dunk Contest, which was won by Carter.
Pierce averaged 16.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in his three seasons at the University of Kansas, where he majored in Crime and Delinquency Studies, and earned MVP honors in the Big 12 Conference Tournament in both 1997 and 1998. Pierce played for Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams at Kansas. He entered the NBA Draft after his junior year and was selected with the 10th overall pick in the first round of the 1998 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics.
After his NBA debut, Pierce's ability to score, rebound and play defense, and a healthy dose of late-game heroics led to his emergence as a top player in the Eastern Conference. Along with forward Antoine Walker, Pierce led the Celtics to the playoffs in 2002 for the first time in seven years and on to the Eastern Conference Finals. In the historic Game 3 of that series, he led the Celtics to the biggest fourth-quarter comeback in NBA playoff history. Pierce scored 19 of his 28 point total during the fourth quarter, and the Celtics recovered from a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the New Jersey Nets.
Pierce has averaged 22.9 points per game over his 11-year NBA career and is a 7-time NBA All-Star. Trade rumors involving Paul Pierce swirled when Danny Ainge returned as the Executive Director of Basketball Operations in May 2003. Ainge laid most of these rumors to rest in the 2006 off-season by signing Paul Pierce to a 3-year, $59 million contract extension. Ironically, Pierce is the only player left from the moment Ainge took over.
Pierce has often played his best games against the best individual competition, such as LeBron James, Tracy McGrady, and Kobe Bryant. For instance, Pierce scored a career high 50 points in a loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers on February 15, 2006. After the game, James stated that he feels that Pierce is the top at the position in the Eastern Conference.
In the 2005-06 NBA season, Pierce had the highest points-per-shot average among the top 30 scorers in the league, indicating that he is an efficient and consistent player. On March 8, 2006, Pierce extended his franchise-record streak of 30-point games at 8. On March 7, he scored seven points in overtime to beat the Washington Wizards on a "buzzer beater" , and the next night the Celtics eked out a victory against Philadelphia on the strength of two late-game improbable shots by Pierce, one a three-pointer, the other an off-balance "buzzer beater" for the win. He scored at least 30 points for the 13th time in 14 games (between February 4 and March 12), the best such stretch in Celtics history. He has six career triple-doubles, the most recent on March 8, 2006.
He followed up this stellar season with an injury-riddled 2006-07 campaign that saw him miss the first significant stretch of games in his career, due to a stress reaction in his foot. In spite of this injury, he still managed to put up his usual stellar numbers in the 47 games in which he saw action.
Prior to the 2007–08 season, he expressed great excitement at the Celtics' acquisitions of fellow All-Stars Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, and at the chance to contend for a championship. He slimmed down to his college weight of 235 lb (107 kg; 16.8 st) and vowed to pay more attention to defense, as he wouldn't have to carry the offense anymore.
Pierce, who has been with the Celtics for 11 seasons, is tied with Zydrunas Ilgauskas of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks for fourth place among active players who have played their entire NBA careers for one team. Pierce became the first Celtics player since Larry Bird to reach 2,000 points in a single season.
On April 28, 2008, Pierce was fined $25,000 by the NBA for an alleged menacing gesture after falling to the ground and being taunted by Al Horford in Game 3 of the first round in the 2008 Playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks on April 26, 2008. Sources claimed this gesture was a gang-related hand sign, but Danny Ainge, general manager of the Celtics, stated that Pierce has been repeatedly doing it before and that it was not gang-related, but rather a symbol used within the team. Pierce himself denied it, adding that his foundation was committed to helping urban youth keep away from gangs.
On May 18, 2008, Pierce recorded the second-highest point total in franchise history in a Game 7 with 41 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers, as the Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals. On June 5, 2008, in Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, Pierce was injured in the third quarter and was carried off the court in serious pain. However, he came back to the court only a few minutes later to spark the Celtics with 15 points in the third quarter en route to a 98–88 victory. He was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player after the Celtics' 131–92 victory in Game 6 on June 17, 2008.
On September 25, 2000, Pierce was stabbed 11 times in the face, neck, and back and had a bottle smashed over his head while at the Buzz Club, a late night dance club in Boston's theatre district. He had to undergo lung surgery to repair the damage. Nevertheless, Pierce was the only Celtic to start all 82 games in the 2000–01 season. Also, witnesses say that Pierce was attempting to separate the fighters when he was stabbed. Tony Battie, Pierce's teammate at the time, along with his brother, saved him by rushing him to a nearby hospital after the near-fatal stabbing.
Pierce was a member of the US national team for the 2002 FIBA World Championship, starting all nine games and averaging 19.8 ppg. Pierce was also selected for the United States National Basketball team for the 2006 FIBA World Championship, but did not compete because of minor off-season surgery.
|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|
|NBA Finals Most Valuable Player
Paul Anthony Pierce (born October 13, 1977 in Oakland, California) is an American basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the [[National Basketball Association] (NBA)]. He played college basketball at the University of Kansas. Pierce won an NBA championship with the Celtics in 2008, and won the NBA 3-Point Shooting Contest in 2010. He was the Most Valuable Player of the 2008 NBA Finals.