Paul Pierce is one of the most well-known basketball players in the United States. He is one of the top shooters in the NBA, strong and athletic with fluid playing skills and a knack for the basket. After being taken as the 10th overall choice in the NBA draft in 1998, he spent fifteen years with the Boston Celtics before joining the Washington Wizards. Pierce, a gifted athlete, was encouraged to participate in sports from an early age. He didn’t let his enthusiasm for athletics wane, and he quickly discovered basketball to be his favorite sport. Pierce created a name for himself as a junior in high school and college. In his junior year at the University of Kansas, he was named to the First Team All-America. He was a ten-time All-Star and four-time All-NBA team selection who led his Boston Celtics to the NBA Finals in 2008 and 2010, finally winning the 2008 NBA Finals. He played in over 1000 games for the Celtics during his career, collecting over 20,000 points in the process. With the Celtics, he ranks third in terms of games played, second in terms of points scored, seventh in terms of total rebounds, fifth in terms of total assists, and first in terms of total thefts.
Childhood and Adolescence
Paul Pierce was born in Oakland, California, to a single mother named Lorraine Hosey. Jamal and Steve were his half-brothers. Pierce began participating in athletics at a young age, thanks to his mother’s encouragement. He was gifted with a strong physique and excelled at basketball.
He graduated from Inglewood High School, where he excelled as a basketball player. He initially participated in an organized game in seventh grade. In his first year at Inglewood High School, he was a member of the Sentinels’ JV team. He became a star player due to his exceptional dabbling skills. In a key encounter for Sentinels, he scored 12 points and collected seven rebounds, shifting the game’s outcome in Sentinels’ favor.
He quickly grew in stature and weight, and he improved as a player, earning him a promotion to co-captain. Within weeks, he was averaging 24.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, and four assists per game. Despite receiving offers from some of the best basketball teams in the country, he chose to play for Kansas and enrolled at the University of Kansas to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice and Delinquency Studies.
He averaged 16.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game throughout his three years at the university. In addition, he was named MVP of the Big 12 Conference Tournament. By the end of his junior year, he had been selected by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 1998 NBA draft.
Career of Paul Pierce
He began his career as a doppelganger for third-year star Antoine Walker. However, he proved to be Walker’s equal in terms of scoring ability and game strategy. In 2002, he and Walker guided the Celtics to the playoffs for the first time in seven years, which was a first for the team. He was the team’s match winner, turning the game around from a moment where a comeback seemed improbable. Game 3 against the New Jersey Nets was one such game. He was the team’s leading scorer, rebounder, and passer in the postseason.
In 2001-02, he finished the season with 2144 points and a 26.1-point-per-game average. The Boston Celtics had a 44-win season but fell to the New Jersey Nets in the second round for the second year in a row. The Celtics had a poor season in 2003-04. The addition of a new coach, Doc Rivers, compounded his problems, as he had a tense relationship with the former. New, unpolished players were introduced into the team as a result of the new policies, making him the lone veteran in the group.
Despite the Celtics’ changing players and policies, he maintained his level of play, averaging 23.0 points per game in 2003–04 and 21.6 points per game in 2004–05. He averaged 26.8 points, seven rebounds, and five assists per game, which was a career high.
In the 2006 off-season, he was signed by the Celtics for a three-year contract deal worth $59 million, putting an end to rumors that he would be transferred. The 2005-06 NBA season was his finest to date, as he finished in the top 30 scorers in the league with his highest points-per-shot average. He scored 30 points in 13 of his fourteen games between February 4 and March 12, making it a fantastic season for him and the squad as a whole.
The previous season’s triumph was followed by an injury-plagued 2006-07. He had a stress response in his foot, which caused him to miss many games. Despite his outstanding performance in 47 games, the squad struggled throughout the season, losing 24-58. Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, two veteran basketball players, quickly became profitable for him and the organization. He altered his strategy, focusing more on defense and less on offense.
Though the Celtics started the season poorly, losing their first four playoff games, the trio found its stride in the fifth game and subsequently, allowing the team to win crucial games. The game against the Cleveland Cavaliers was the most entertaining, as he scored 41 points, the second-highest total in franchise history in a single game.
The Celtics won 97-92 and went to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they will face the Detroit Pistons. With his charisma on the court, he guided the team to an 89-81 triumph and a berth in the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.
He assisted the squad in winning two of the six games against the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite losing the third match to their opponents, the Boston Celtics came back to win the fourth match and take a 3-1 series lead. Even though the Celtics lost the fifth game, their finals triumph was still questionable. However, they came back to win the 17th championship with a 131-92 victory.
The Celtics performed admirably as reigning champs in the 2008-09 season as well. With 20.5 points per game, he made a significant contribution to the squad. He was selected to the 2009 NBA All-Star Game and the All-NBA Second Team for the first time. Despite his personal achievement, the Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs in the second round.
His performance slowed a little in 2009-10. Despite missing 11 games, he led the Celtics to 50 victories with a career-high 47.2 percent shooting percentage. His personal scoring average was 18.3 points per game, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.1 assists. He was the first Celtic to win the Three-Point Shootout in 2010.
In the 2010 playoffs, he was outstanding, leading the Celtics to victories over the Cavaliers and the Orlando Magic, bringing them to their second Finals trip in the Big Three era. In the final, they faced the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite a strong start, they fell short in the final game, 83-79.
He opted out of his contract in June 2010, but was persuaded to sign a four-year deal, allowing him to stay with the Boston Celtics until 2013-14. Meanwhile, he made his 20, 000th career point on a free throw in November 2010.
In March 2012, he appeared in his 1000th game for the Celtics. He averaged 19.4 points, 4.5 assists, and 5.2 rebounds per game in the 2011-12 season.
Despite his 21.2 point per game average in the playoffs, the Celtics were defeated by the Miami Heat in the final two games, preventing them from reaching the NBA finals. He was dealt to the Brooklyn Nets in 2013 along with Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry for future first-round picks in the 2014, 2016, and 2018 drafts. The Boston Celtics honored him with a full-page advertising thanking him for his contributions to the franchise.
Personal History and Legacy
In 2010, he tied the knot with Julie Landrum, an interior designer. Prianna, Adrian, and Prince, the couple’s three children, were born to them.
Estimated Net Worth
Paul Pierce is a former professional basketball player in the United States with a net worth of $70 million. Paul earned $198 million in NBA salary alone throughout his career, which lasted from 1998 to 2018. In terms of total career earnings, that’s enough to put him among the top 25 highest-paid players in NBA history.
‘The Truth’ is a popular moniker for this former Boston Celtics standout who played for the team for fifteen years (1998-2013).