His name nearly synonymous with clutch shooting, Paul Pierce is undeniably one of the NBA's premiere guards, and is 50% responsible for the Boston Celtics' rebirth as a title contender. Along with forward Antoine Walker, Pierce has been an integral part of the powerful offensive duo that just might bring yet another title to Boston.

Born on October 13th, 1977, in Oakland, California, Paul Anthony Pierce is a product of Kansas University. As a Kansas University Jayhawk, Pierce averaged 16.4 ppg and 6.3 rpg, and was named to the All-American first team, as well as twice being selected as the Big 12 Conference Tournament MVP during his three years at KU . Paul Pierce's Jayhawk squad (which also included the Dallas Mavericks' Raef LaFrentz and the Denver Nuggets' Ryan Bowen) compiled an overall record of 98-11 (.899%), and Pierce left the school as KU's fifth all-time best career scorer, and ranked twelfth-highest for career rebounds.

While observers predicted that Pierce would go as high as third in the 1998 NBA Draft, in a fortunate twist of fate for the Boston Celtics, the 6'6" guard remained on the board until the 10th pick. Drafted ahead of Pierce were players, who although successful in their own rights, can hardly boast the same offensive production as Pierce does today, such as Michael Olowokandi (1st pick), or fellow Jayhawk Raef LaFrentz (3rd pick).

Following his rookie season, Pierce was a unanimous selection to the All-Rookie first team, after averging 16.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg, and 1.7 spg. Pierce led the Celtics in 3-pointers made (and was ranked 10th in the NBA) and attempted (he was ranked 18th in the whole league), as well as 3-point percentage (10th in the NBA). He ranked second among rookies in scoring , 3-pointers made and attempted, 3-point percentage, rebounds, and steals, and fourth in blocked shots (with 1.0 bpg), fifth in assists (2.4 apg) and 10th in field goal percentage (44%).

In the summer following his spectacular rookie season, Pierce was the victim of a horrendous crime when he was nearly killed as a result of a vicious stabbing. While having a night out at a club, Pierce was stabbed repeatedly in the face, neck, and back by an assailant who is now incarcerated. However, this terrifying incident seemed to have little affect on Pierce's game, as Pierce played in 73 of 82 games in 1999-2000, and averaged an impressive 19.5 ppg and 5.4 rpg.

In 2000-01 Pierce was the only Celtic to start in all of their 82 regular season games, as well as the first Celt to score 2,000 points in a season since Larry Bird in 1987-88. With the stellar output of 25.3 ppg and 6.4 rpg, Pierce led his team in scoring, and was ranked 8th in the NBA in average points per game, as well as 4th in total points.

2001-02 was Pierce's most productive yet, and saw him increase his averages to 26.1 ppg with 6.9 rpg, while leading his team to a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals. He led the NBA in total points, and ranked 3rd in points per game. He also ranked 2nd in free throws made, and 3rd in three-point field goals made and attempted. Pierce also earned his first All Star selection, notching 19 points and 7 rebounds in 23 minutes at the game in Philadelphia.

Around two months into the 2002-2003 season, Pierce is currently averaging 25.4 ppg, 8.3 rpg, and 5.1 apg. Pierce weighs 230 lbs and wears jersey number 34. His mother's name is Lorraine, and his off-court hobbies include tennis, listening to music, and watching the TV show Martin.


sources:
www.usabasketball.com/biosmen/paul_pierce_bio.html
www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Slope/2710/PaulPierceStories.html
www.nba.com

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