Paul Pierce

Paul Anthony Pierce (born October 13, 1977 in Inglewood, California) is an American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the NBA. He has been a starter every season since he was selected by the Celtics in the 1998 NBA Draft, and in 2002 he helped lead Boston to an appearance in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.


High school
Pierce was the star of his Inglewood High School basketball team having started all four years. Paul also participated in the 1995 ESPN Field All-American slam dunk competition along with fellow future NBA star Vince Carter.

Pierce averaged 16.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in his three seasons at the University of Kansas, and earned MVP honors in the Big 12 Conference Tournament in both 1997 and 1998. Pierce was teammates with Raef LaFrentz who is currently playing the Boston Celtics. He entered the NBA Draft after his junior year with the Jayhawks, and was selected in the first round (10th pick overall) of the 1998 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics. Pierce Majored in Crime and Delinquency Studies at Kansas University.

After his debut in the NBA, Pierce's ability to score, rebound, 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 2002 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 .

Pierce has averaged 23.6 points per game over his 7-year NBA career and is a 5-time NBA All-Star. On February 9, 2006, for the fifth time in his career, Pierce was selected to play in the 2006 NBA All-Star Game in Houston, Texas as a reserve for the Eastern Conference. Trade rumors involving Paul Pierce have swirled ever since Danny Ainge returned as the Executive Director of Basketball Operations in May of 2003. Ainge laid most of these rumors to rest in the 2006 offseason by signing Paul Pierce to a 3 year, $59 million contract extension.

Pierce has often has 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 NBA

In the 2005-2006 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 8th, 2006 Paul Pierce extended his franchise-record streak of 30-point games at 8. His scoring streak was anything but a one-man showboating effort. On March 7, he scored 10 points in overtime to beat the Washington Wizards, 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.

Pierce is tied with Zydrunas Ilgauskas of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks (8 years) for sixth place among active players who have played their entire NBA career for one team, a remarkable display of loyalty since the Celtics have been one of the most consistently mismanaged teams in the NBA during Pierce's career. Pierce became the first Celtics player since Larry Bird to reach 2,000 points in a single season.

Nightclub stabbing
On September 25, 2000 at approximately 1 A.M., Pierce arrived at the Buzz nightclub in Boston's theatre district. He began talking to a girl at the club until he was confronted by three men, one of whom was the brother of the girl he had been talking to. The confrontation escalated until Pierce was struck in the head with a champagne bottle. Pierce was stabbed 11 times by William Ragland, in the neck and back, including an 18mm wound to his chest that penetrated his left lung. Pierce was rushed to New England Medical Center by then Celtics teammate Tony Battie and Battie's brother Derreck. Pierce underwent lung surgery and doctors claim he was within minutes of death. Despite the severity of these wounds, Pierce played all 82 games during the 2000-01 season, going on to average what were at the time career highs in points, minutes, assists and field goal percentage.

Pierce was a member of the United States National Basketball 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.

Pierce is known as one of the more motivated players in the league. He was once fouled hard by Amare Stoudemire, hit the floor face-first, and cracked a number of teeth. He did not miss any games as a result of this injury.

Career highlights
2-time All-NBA Third Team: 2002, 2003
5-time NBA All-Star: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
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 2002 USA Basketball World Championship Team.
Member of the 2006 USA Basketball World Championship Team (Did not play due to an elbow injury).

NBA records
Most free throws made without a miss, playoffs: 21 (Game 1, 2003 Eastern Conference First Round).

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: 23.5 PPG, 2nd only to Larry Bird.

Current Resident of Lincoln, Massachusetts.

In the video game NBA Ballers Pierce gives viewers a tour of his hometown of Inglewood in a helicopter over Los Angeles.

Favorite sport other than basketball is tennis.

Half brother Jay Hosey played basketball for Wyoming and other half brother Steve Hosey played catcher for the San Francisco Giants.

Charitable foundation is called The Truth Fund and lends support to children from the greater Boston area and California inner cities.

Favorite TV show is Martin.

His nickname, The Truth, was coined by Shaquille O'Neal.

He was on the cover of the video game NBA Inside Drive 2003.

Pierce's endorsements include Nike, Spalding, Pepsi, McDonalds, and
Paul Pierce was also mentioned on GZA's song Fame.

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