Paul Anthony Pierce (October 13, 1977-) is a professional basketball who has spent 15 years with the Boston Celtics (1998-2013) where he has established himself as one of the team’s best players of the 2000s and ranks at or near the top of several franchise records. He scored more than 24,000 points with the Celtics before being traded to the Brooklyn Nets, playing one season in Brooklyn (2013-14) before signing a two-year deal with the Washington Wizards (2014-present). Pierce was a star player growing up in California and as a member of the Inglewood High School team was selected to participate in the 1995 McDonald’s All-American Game, where he played along side Kevin Garnet and Stephon Marbury. At the University of Kansas (1995-1998), he averaged 16. 4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, and in the Big 12 Conference Tournament was a two-time MVP (1997, 1998). His talents on the court caught the attention of NBA scouts, with Boston taking him in the 1st round (10thoverall) of the 1998 NBA Draft.
From the start, Pierce established himself as a top player in the Eastern Conference, earning a spot on the NBA All-Rookie First Team (1999). But his life almost ended tragically when he was stabbed 11 times in the face, neck, and back at a Boston nightclub. Despite his serious injuries, Pierce went on to play in all 82 games of the 2000-01 season. Nicknamed “The Truth” by Shaquille O’Neal following a 2001 game, fans and sports historians alike recognize Paul as one of the main reasons the Celtics underwent a resurgence in the early 2000s, including the team reaching the NBA Playoffs in 2002 … for the first time in seven years … and moving on to the Eastern Conference Finals. In Game 3, Pierce scored 19 of his 28 points during the fourth quarter, leading his team to one of the biggest fourth-quarter comebacks in NBA playoff history as the Celtics recovered from a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit to win the game. The small forward has averaged 20.7 points per game and scored more than 30 points more than a dozen times. During his career, Pierce has been a 10-time NBA All-Star and was a member of the Celtics 2008 NBA championship squad (along with Kevin Garnett), earning NBA Finals MVP honors along the way. Through the 2014-15 season he holds the Celtics' record for most three-point field goals made as well as in total steals, and ranks third in team history in games played, second in points scored, seventh in total rebounds, and fifth in total assists. Over 18 years in the NBA, Paul Pierce has scored 25,899 points, 7,293 rebounds, 4,627 assists, 1,715 steals and 723 blocks.