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Paul Pierce is a former professional basketball player who played in the NBA for 19 seasons. He most notably played for the Boston Celtics for his first 15 seasons and finished off his playing career with the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers. His illustrious time in Boston started with him picking up NBA All-Rookie honors in the 1998-99 season by averaging 16.5 points per game. Pierce is well-known as “The Truth,” a moniker that was given by Shaquille O’Neal to a reporter after a game in March of 2001 where Pierce scored 42 points on 13-of-19 shooting against O’Neal’s Lakers. From that point forward, The Truth about Pierce’s game started to become undeniable. He became an All-Star over the next five seasons while averaging 24.7 points per game. In the summer of 2007, the Celtics acquired MVP forward Kevin Garnett and three-point marksman Ray Allen. That ensuing season, Pierce and the Celtics would go on to post a league-leading 66-16 record and capture Boston’s 17th NBA title and the first since 1986. Pierce picked up Finals MVP honors by averaging 21.8 points per game. Game one became Pierce’s most remembered moment during his MVP-winning series performance. In the third quarter, Pierce left the game with serious pain and was taken off the court on a wheelchair. A minute later, Pierce ran back onto the floor with the crowd in the Boston Garden erupting during the process as he would go on to score 15 points in the quarter and surge the Celtics to a 98-88 victory. Pierce would end up becoming one of just three players in Celtics history to score 20,000 career points alongside Larry Bird and John Havlicek.
After being born and raised in Oakland, Calif., his family moved to Inglewood, California, where Pierce attended Inglewood High School. He was cut from the varsity team in his freshman and sophomore seasons before becoming the star of the team his junior season and eventually a McDonald’s All-American. He chose to play at the University of Kansas for three seasons, where he led the Jayhawks to the inaugural 1997 Big 12 tournament title while claiming the first of two MVP honors for the tournament. He was selected first team All-Big 12 and first team All-American his junior season before declaring for the 1998 NBA Draft, where he would become the 10th overall selection by the Celtics.
An Evening with Paul Pierce
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