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Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce 2008-01-13.jpg
Boston Celtics  – No. 34
Small forward/Shooting guard
Born October 13, 1977 (1977-10-13) (age 32)
Oakland, California
Nationality USA
Listed height 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight 235 lb (107 kg)
League NBA
Salary $19,795,712
High school Inglewood HS
(Inglewood, California)
College Kansas
Draft 10th overall, 1998
Boston Celtics
Pro career 1998present
Awards NBA Champion
(2008)
NBA Finals MVP
(2008)
NBA All-Star
(2002-2006, 2008-2010)
All-NBA Second Team
(2009)
3x All-NBA Third Team
(2002, 2003, 2008)
NBA All-Rookie First Team
(1999)
NBA 3-Point Shootout champion
(2010)
Arnold "Red" Auerbach Award
(2006)
Profile Info Page

Paul Anthony Pierce (born October 13, 1977 in Oakland, California), nicknamed The Truth,[1] 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.

Contents

High school

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.

College career

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.

NBA career

Early career

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.[2]

Paul Pierce in a game against the Washington Wizards

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.[3] 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.[4]

2005-06 season

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" [5], 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.

2006-07 season

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.

2007-08 season

Pierce shoots a free throw in Game 4 of the 2008 NBA Playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks.
Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics being defended by LeBron James.

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.[6]

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.[7][8] 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.[7] Pierce himself denied it, adding that his foundation was committed to helping urban youth keep away from gangs.[9][10]

Pierce at the championship parade of the 2008 NBA Champions Boston Celtics.

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,[11][12] as the Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15][16] He was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player after the Celtics' 131–92 victory in Game 6 on June 17, 2008.[17]

Stabbing incident

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.[18][19] 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.[20] 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.

International

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.

Personal

  • Has been featured in several video games. In the video game NBA Ballers, Pierce gives viewers a tour of his hometown of Inglewood in a helicopter over Los Angeles.
  • Has a charitable foundation known as The Truth Fund, which lends support to children from the greater Boston area and California inner cities.[21]
  • His nickname, The Truth, was accorded him by Shaquille O'Neal. After a Lakers' victory over the Celtics in 2001, O'Neal pulled a Boston reporter over and gestured toward his notepad. "Take this down," said O'Neal. "My name is Shaquille O'Neal and Paul Pierce is the truth. Quote me on that and don't take nothing out. I knew he could play, but I didn't know he could play like this. Paul Pierce is the truth."[22]
  • Made a cameo in the music video "Tight Whips" by the 504 Boyz.[23]
  • Starting on September 19, 2008, pre-recorded footage of him speaking and screaming is part of the Hangin' Tough encore of New Kids on the Block: Live tour.

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
1998–99 Boston 48 47 34.0 .439 .412 .713 6.4 2.4 1.7 1.0 16.5
1999–00 Boston 73 72 35.4 .442 .343 .798 5.4 3.0 2.1 .9 19.5
2000–01 Boston 82 82 38.0 .454 .383 .745 6.4 3.1 1.7 .8 25.3
2001–02 Boston 82 82 40.3 .442 .404 .809 6.9 3.2 1.9 1.0 26.1
2002–03 Boston 79 79 39.2 .416 .302 .802 7.3 4.4 1.8 .8 25.9
2003–04 Boston 80 80 38.7 .402 .299 .819 6.5 5.1 1.6 .6 23.0
2004–05 Boston 82 82 36.1 .455 .370 .822 6.6 4.2 1.6 .5 21.6
2005–06 Boston 79 79 39.0 .471 .354 .772 6.7 4.7 1.4 .4 26.8
2006–07 Boston 47 46 37.0 .439 .389 .796 5.9 4.1 1.0 .3 25.0
2007–08 Boston 80 80 35.9 .464 .392 .843 5.1 4.5 1.3 .4 19.6
2008–09 Boston 81 81 37.5 .457 .391 .830 5.6 3.6 1.0 .3 20.5
Career 813 810 37.5 .443 .366 .798 6.3 3.9 1.6 .6 22.9
All-Star 8 0 14.1 .500 .160 .778 2.9 2.0 1.5 .0 10.9

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2001–02 Boston 16 16 42.0 .403 .288 .764 8.6 4.1 1.7 1.2 24.6
2002–03 Boston 10 10 44.5 .399 .356 .863 9.0 6.7 2.1 .8 27.1
2003–04 Boston 4 4 40.5 .342 .294 .839 8.8 2.5 1.2 1.0 20.8
2004–05 Boston 7 7 39.6 .505 .259 .868 7.7 4.6 1.9 1.4 22.9
2007–08 Boston 26 26 38.1 .441 .361 .802 5.0 4.6 1.1 .3 19.7
2008–09 Boston 14 14 39.7 .430 .333 .842 5.8 3.1 1.1 .4 21.0
Career 77 77 40.3 .422 .325 .819 6.8 4.4 1.4 .7 22.2

Career highlights

NBA

  • NBA Champion: 2008
  • NBA Finals MVP: 2008
  • All-NBA Second Team: 2009
  • 3-time All-NBA Third Team: 2002, 2003, 2008
  • 8-time NBA All-Star: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team: 1999
  • NBA 3-Point Contest Winner: 2010
  • NBA regular-season leader, total points: 2002 (2144)
  • NBA regular-season leader, free throws made: 2003 (604)

College

  • Named First Team All-America by the Associated Press after his junior year at the University of Kansas.
  • Named Big Eight Freshman of the Year in 1995-96.
  • MVP of the Big 12 Conference Tournament in both 1997 and 1998.

Other

NBA records

  • Most consecutive free throws made, playoffs: 21 (Game 1, 2003 Eastern Conference First Round).
  • Most free throws made in one quarter, NBA Finals: 10 (Game 5, 2008 NBA Finals).

Boston Celtics franchise records

  • Scored 30 or more points in a franchise record 12 consecutive games
  • Most points scored in a game at TD Banknorth Garden: 50 (February 15, 2006 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers).
  • Most points scored in a half (including Overtime): 46 (December 1, 2001 2nd Half vs. New Jersey Nets).
  • Most points scored in an overtime period: 13 (December 1, 2001 vs. New Jersey Nets)
  • Most three-point field goals made, career: 989 (1998–present).
  • Most three-point field goals attempted, career: 2769 (1998–present).
  • Most free throws made in one game: 20 (November 2, 2002 vs. New York Knicks).
  • Most free throws attempted in one game: 24 (November 5, 2005 vs. New York Knicks).
  • Most free throws made in one half: 14 (March 2, 2001 vs. Utah Jazz).
  • Most free throws made in one season: 612 (2005-2006, breaking his own record of 604, set in 2002-2003).
  • Most free throws attempted in one season: 812 (2005-2006, breaking his own record of 753 in 2002-2003).
  • Most steals in one game: 9 (tied with Larry Bird; December 3, 1999 vs. Miami Heat).
  • Most free throws made without a miss, playoffs: 21 (Game 1, 2003 Eastern Conference First Round).
  • Most points scored in one half, playoffs: 32 (Game 4, 2003 Eastern Conference First Round vs. Indiana Pacers).
  • Highest scoring average through one month: 33.5 PPG (February 2006).
  • Only Celtics player in franchise history to lead the NBA in total points scored in a season, scoring 2,144 points in 2001-2002.
  • Playing with Celtics he accumulated 2,071 points in 2000-2001.
  • Career scoring average: 22.9 PPG, 2nd only to Larry Bird.
  • Currently is the Celtics 3rd all time leading scorer. Behind only Larry Bird, and John Havlicek

Notes

  1. ^ Pierce stars in his moment of Truth - The Boston Globe
  2. ^ "CNNSI.com - 2002 NBA Playoffs - Celtics pull off biggest comeback ever - Saturday May 25, 2002 09:53 PM". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/2002/playoffs/news/2002/05/25/nets_celtics_ap/. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "NBA.com James' Triple-Double Upstages Pierce's 50". Nba.com. http://www.nba.com/games/20060215/CLEBOS/recap.html. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  5. ^ Mar 8, 12:03 am EST. "Celtics 116, Wizards 115, OT - NBA - Yahoo! Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/recap?gid=2006030727. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  6. ^ Bethlehem Shoals, A Thinner, Happier, More Defensive Paul Pierce, AOL Sports, August 14, 2008.
  7. ^ a b Court gesture no joke: League hands fine to Paul Pierce, Boston Herald, April 29, 2008.
  8. ^ Marc J. Spears, Pierce fined $25,000, The Boston Globe, April 28, 2008.
  9. ^ Pierce responds, Boston Herald, April 30, 2008.
  10. ^ Celtics' Pierce denies gesture was gang-related, Associated Press, April 30, 2008.
  11. ^ Celtics Top Game 7 Scoring Performances, NBA.com, May 18, 2008.
  12. ^ Pierce, James duke it out as Celtics close out Cavs in Game 7, Associated Press, May 18, 2008.
  13. ^ Peter F. Stringer, Pierce-James Duel Makes Game 7 an Instant Classic, Celtics.com, May 18, 2008.
  14. ^ Mark Murphy, Injured Paul Pierce keys Game 1 win, Boston Herald, June 6, 2008.
  15. ^ Couper Moorhead, Showing Heart, Pierce Recovers from Wounded Knee To Bury Lakers, Celtics.com, June 6, 2008.
  16. ^ Michael Vega, Pierce felt pain, hurt Lakers, The Boston Globe, June 6, 2008.
  17. ^ Pierce wins MVP and big three take care of business in Finals, Associated Press, June 18, 2008.
  18. ^ "ESPN.com - NBA - Two suspects arraigned". static.espn.go.com. http://static.espn.go.com/nba/news/2000/0925/776349.html. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  19. ^ Lena Williams (Published: September 26, 2000). "PRO BASKETBALL; Nightclub Incident Leaves Celtic Recovering From Stab Wounds - New York Times". Query.nytimes.com. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A00E7DC123AF935A1575AC0A9669C8B63&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/People/P/Pierce,%20Paul. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  20. ^ "Celtics Star Paul Pierce Fights Back On ''BEYOND THE GLORY'' | Celtics.com". Nba.com. http://www.nba.com/celtics/news/PaulPierce_BeyondTheGlory.html. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  21. ^ Support the Truth Fund and Watch the C's in Style, Celtics.com
  22. ^ Daily Dime: Pierce elevates his game for the Lakers, ESPN.com, June 2, 2008.
  23. ^ 504 Boyz - Tight Whips ft. Master P, Magic, Lil Romeo, YouTube
  24. ^ Marc J. Spears, It's a girl, The Boston Globe, April 4, 2008.
  25. ^ 2002 USA Basketball

External links

Preceded by
Tony Parker
NBA Finals Most Valuable Player
2008
Succeeded by
Kobe Bryant

Simple English

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.[1]

References


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