Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce

Infobox NBA Player
name = Paul Pierce

caption =
position = Small forward/Shooting guard
nickname = The Truth
height_ft = 6
height_in = 7
weight_lb = 235
league = NBA
team = Boston Celtics
number = 34
nationality = USA
birth_date = birth date and age|mf=yes|1977|10|13
birth_place = Oakland, California
college = Kansas
highschool = Inglewood HS
(Inglewood, California)
draft = 10th overall
draft_year = 1998
draft_team = Boston Celtics
career_start = 1998
career_end =
former_teams =
awards = 6-time NBA All-Star
1-time NBA Champion
NBA Finals MVP
All-NBA Third Team
(2002, 2003, 2008)
NBA All-Rookie First Team

Paul Anthony Pierce (born October 13, 1977 in Oakland, California), nicknamed The Truth, [ [ Pierce stars in his moment of Truth - The Boston Globe] ] 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 a 6-time All-Star and 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.

High school

Pierce, who was raised in Inglewood, a suburb of Los Angeles, California, was the star of his Inglewood High School, playing basketball 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, 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 4th quarter deficit to defeat the New Jersey Nets. [ [ - 2002 NBA Playoffs - Celtics pull off biggest comeback ever - Saturday May 25, 2002 09:53 PM ] ]

Pierce has averaged 23.2 points per game over his 9-year NBA career and is a 6-time NBA All-Star.

Trade rumors involving Paul Pierce have swirled ever since 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. [ [ James' Triple-Double Upstages Pierce's 50 ] ]

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" [ [ Celtics 116, Wizards 115, OT - NBA - Yahoo! Sports ] ] , 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 he saw action in.

2007-08 NBA season

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 convert|235|lb|kg st|abbr=on|lk=on and vowed to pay more attention to defense, as he wouldn't have to carry the offense anymore. [Bethlehem Shoals, [ A Thinner, Happier, More Defensive Paul Pierce] , "AOL Sports", August 14, 2008.]

Pierce, who has been with the Celtics for 10 years, 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 career 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. [ Court gesture no joke: League hands fine to Paul Pierce] , "Boston Herald", April 29, 2008.] [Marc J. Spears, [ Pierce fined $25,000] , "The Boston Globe", April 28, 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. [ [ Pierce responds] , "Boston Herald", April 30, 2008.] [ Celtics' Pierce denies gesture was gang-related] , "Associated Press", April 30, 2008.]

On May 18, 2008, Pierce recorded the 2nd highest point total in franchise history in a Game 7 with 41 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers, [ [ Celtics Top Game 7 Scoring Performances] , "", May 18, 2008.] [ [ Pierce, James duke it out as Celtics close out Cavs in Game 7] , "Associated Press", May 18, 2008.] as the Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals. [Peter F. Stringer, [ Pierce-James Duel Makes Game 7 an Instant Classic] , "", May 18, 2008.] 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. [Mark Murphy, [ Injured Paul Pierce keys Game 1 win] , "Boston Herald", June 6, 2008.] 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. [Couper Moorhead, [ Showing Heart, Pierce Recovers from Wounded Knee To Bury Lakers] , "", June 6, 2008.] [Michael Vega, [ Pierce felt pain, hurt Lakers] , "The Boston Globe", June 6, 2008.] He was named the "NBA Finals Most Valuable Player" after the Celtics' 131–92 victory in Game 6 on June 17, 2008. [ [ Pierce wins MVP and big three take care of business in Finals] , "Associated Press", June 18, 2008.]

tabbing incident

On September 25, 2000, Pierce was stabbed 11 times in the face, neck, and back 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. [ [ - NBA - Two suspects arraigned ] ] [ [,%20Paul PRO BASKETBALL; Nightclub Incident Leaves Celtic Recovering From Stab Wounds - New York Times ] ] Nevertheless, Pierce was the only Celtic to start all 82 games in the 2000–01 season. [ [ Celtics Star Paul Pierce Fights Back On "BEYOND THE GLORY" | ] ]


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.


*Currently lives in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

*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.

*His half brother Jay Hosey played basketball for Wyoming, and another half brother Steve Hosey played right field for the San Francisco Giants.

*Has a charitable foundation known as The Truth Fund, which lends support to children from the greater Boston area and California inner cities. [ [ Support the Truth Fund and Watch the C's in Style] , ""]

*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 motherfucking 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." [ [ Daily Dime: Pierce elevates his game for the Lakers] , "", June 2, 2008.]

*Shaved his head during the 2007-08 training camp along with the other four Boston starters (Perkins, Garnett, Allen and Rondo).

*Made a cameo appearance in the movie The Game Plan.

*Made a cameo in the music video "Tight Whips" by the 504 Boyz. [ [ 504 Boyz - Tight Whips ft. Master P, Magic, Lil Romeo] , YouTube]

*On April 4, 2008, his fiancee, Julie Landrum, gave birth to a baby girl, Prianna Lee, in Boston, Massachusetts. [Marc J. Spears, [ It's a girl] , "The Boston Globe", April 4, 2008.]

Career highlights


*NBA Champion: 2008
*NBA Finals MVP: 2008
*3-time All-NBA Third Team: 2002, 2003, 2008
*6-time NBA All-Star: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008
*NBA All-Rookie First Team: 1999
*NBA regular-season leader, total points: 2002 (2144)
*NBA regular-season leader, free throws made: 2003 (604)


*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.


*Member of the US national team in the 2002 FIBA World Championship. [ [ 2002 USA Basketball] ]

*Member of the 2006 USA Basketball World Championship Team (Did not play due to an elbow injury).

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: 23.6 PPG, 2nd only to Larry Bird.


External links

*basketball-reference|Paul Pierce
* [ {name|Paul Pierce}] at
* [ University of Kansas Men's Basketball]
* [ USA National Team]
* [ Paul Pierce Official Site]
* [ The Voice Of Celtics Fans]

NAME = Pierce, Paul
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Basketball forward
DATE OF BIRTH = October 13, 1977
PLACE OF BIRTH = Oakland, California

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