Paul Anthony Pierce (born October 13, 1977 in Oakland, California) is an American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the NBA. He has been a starter every season since being selected by the Celtics in the 1998 NBA Draft, and is a 5-time All-Star.
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. He earned back to back MVP honors in the Big 12 Conference Tournament in 1997 and 1998. He entered the NBA Draft after his junior year with the Jayhawks, and was selected with the 10th overall pick in the first round of the 1998 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics.
(Not updated; updated up to the 2007 season) Pierce has averaged 23.6 points per game over his 9-year NBA career and is a 6-time NBA All-Star. Pierce's greatest season to date was 2005-2006 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 Paul 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.
On September 25, 2000, Paul Pierce was stabbed 11 times in the face, the neck and the back while at a late night dance club in the Boston area. He had to undergo lung surgery to repair the damage. He still overcame the stabbing and was the only Celtic to start all 82 games that year .
That season was followed by his worse, where he was injured for a majority of the season and the Celtics had an abysmal 24-58 record. He then demanded Celtics president Danny Ainge for help or else he wanted out of Boston. After the Celtics failed to win one of the top lottery picks, Ainge acquired All-Stars Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett and all trade rumors ceased.
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 also is the first Celtics player since Larry Bird to reach 2,000 points in a single season.
Awards and Accomplishments
- Tallied 2,071 points in 2000-2001, becoming the first Celtic to clear the 2000 point mark since Larry Bird completed the feat in 1988
- Ranked eighth in NBA in points per game (25.3) in 2000-2001
- Became the first Celtics player to win the NBA's Player of the Month Award in 15 years in March 2001
- On 3/26, became the first Celtics player to win the NBA's Player of the Week award since Reggie Lewis in 1992
- Ranked second in the NBA in steals per game (2.08) in 1999-2000
- Participated in the Schick Rookie Challenge during the 2000 NBA All-Star Weekend
- A unanimous selection to the 1998-99 Schick All-Rookie First Team after leading the Celtics in three-pointers made (84, 10th in the NBA) and attempted (204, 18th), three-point percentage (.412, 10th) and steals (1.71 spg, 19th)
- Ranked second among rookies in scoring (16.5 ppg), three-pointers made and attempted, three-point percentage, rebounds (6.4 rpg) and steals, fourth in blocked shots (1.04 bpg), fifth in assists (2.4 apg), sixth in double-doubles (3) and 10th in field-goal percentage (.439)
- Named Rookie of the Month for February 1999, leading the NBA with 2.73 spg, leading all rookies with 20.4 ppg and adding 7.1 rpg, 2.4 apg and 1.45 bpg
- Made his NBA debut, totaling 19 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocked shots, against the Toronto Raptors on 2/5/99
- Named First Team All-America by the AP after his junior season at Kansas in 1997-98 and was Honorable Mention All-America after his sophomore season
- Named MVP of the Big 12 Conference Tournament in both 1996-97 and 1997–98
- Shared Big Eight co-Freshman of the Year honors in 1995-96