Paul Pierce's Career in Boston


  • June 24, 1998

    A 15-year marriage between the Boston Celtics and Paul Pierce began on June 24, 1998. Somehow, after an incredibly successful collegiate career that led to a First Team All America selection, Pierce slipped to the Celtics at No. 10 in the draft. Sometimes things are just meant to be, as Pierce went on to have one of the most successful careers in the history of the iconic franchise.


  • February 5, 1999

    Pierce was unfortunate to be drafted shortly before the NBA began a six-month lockout. As the NBA Players Association and the league discussed a new collective bargaining agreement, Pierce was left to toil in no-man’s land. He did not officially become a member of the Celtics until he signed his first contract on Jan. 22, 1999. Pierce’s professional career began immediately, as training camp broke the same week and preseasons began just a few days later.

    The world got its first taste of Pierce on Feb. 5, 1999, when he made his official NBA debut against the Toronto Raptors in Boston. It didn’t take long for the small forward to showcase his abilities; he finished his first game with 19 points, nine rebounds, five assists, four blocks and two steals in 39 minutes of action. He also made half of his shots from the field (7-of-14) and from 3-point range (2-of-4).


  • September 28, 2000

    Celtics faithful breathed a sigh of relief on Sept. 28, 2000, when Pierce emerged from a hospital after recuperating from a near-death experience. Pierce was attacked at a nightclub on Sept. 25, 2000. He was stabbed 11 times and was brought to the hospital immediately by his friends. Three days later, Pierce emerged from the hospital in good health and vowed to return to the basketball court. He was fully recovered for Opening Night and led the team to a 103-83 victory over Detroit by scoring 28 points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out five assists.


  • February 10, 2002

    Pierce’s first monster season was in 2000-01, when he averaged 25.3 points per game, 6.4 rebounds per game and 3.1 assists per game. Somehow, he didn’t make the All-Star team that season.

    The following year, there was no way the league could leave him off of the Eastern Conference All-Star team. In 49 games that season before the All-Star break, Pierce averaged 26.1 PPG. He showcased those scoring abilities during his first All-Star game on Feb. 10, 2002, when he scored 19 points on 50 percent shooting in exactly 23 minutes of action.


  • May 25, 2002

    When you accomplish something no one else ever has in NBA history, you know you did something great. Pierce and the Celtics did exactly that in Game 3 against the New Jersey Nets on May 25, 2002.

    Boston trailed by 21 points heading into the fourth quarter before Pierce took over. He scored 19 of his 28 points during the final frame to help the Celtics complete the greatest fourth-quarter comeback in NBA playoff history. Boston outscored New Jersey 41-16 in the final frame to take home a 94-90 victory.

    Pierce, fresh off of the emotional win, famously said after the game, “If I was on the other end of this, I would be hurting right now.”


  • August 29, 2002

    USA Basketball selected Pierce to be a member of the 2002 World Championship team. Though that team finished sixth in the tournament, with a 6-3 overall record, Pierce was the standout player on the roster.

    Pierce started all nine games and led the team in scoring with 19.8 points per game. USA’s second-leading scorer was Michael Finley, who scored just 13.0 points per game. Pierce also hauled in 4.6 rebounds per game and nearly les the team in assists as well. This was the only time that Pierce represented the country in an international tournament.


  • January 25, 2003

    The Kansas Jayhawks own some of the deepest tradition in collegiate basketball. The fact that Paul Pierce is one of the greatest players to ever come out of that school says a lot.

    Pierce is the eighth-leading scorer in school history, with 1,768 points scored in just three seasons. The only other former Jayhawks who can compete with his NBA career are Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain and JoJo White. With this information in mind, Kansas honored Pierce by retiring his No. 34 jersey on Jan. 25, 2003.


  • January 26, 2003

    Paul Pierce had a pretty good weekend in late-January of 2003. He started it out on Friday, Jan. 24 with 45 points in a winning effort against the Nuggets. On Saturday, Jan. 25, Pierce returned to Kansas to have his No. 34 jersey retired. He finished the weekend off in style against the Orlando Magic on Sunday, Jan. 26 by notching his first career triple-double with 27 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists. Not a bad weekend for the captain.


  • March 12, 2004

    Thirteen players have scored at least 10,000 points in a Boston Celtics uniform. None have made it to that point faster than Paul Pierce.

    Pierce eclipsed the 10,000-point barrier on March 12, 2004, when he scored 21 points against the Indiana Pacers in Boston. It took Pierce just 431 career games to set the mark, which was five games faster than Hall of Famer Larry Bird.


  • February 15, 2006

    Paul Pierce and LeBron James have gotten to know each other pretty well over the past decade. One of their marquee matchups was played on Feb. 15, 2006.

    Pierce and James went back and forth throughout that contest, which the Cleveland Cavaliers won 113-109. James put together a monster triple-double of 43 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, but Pierce wasn’t far behind. In fact, Pierce outperformed James in the scoring column by dropping a career-high 50 points. He also chipped in seven boards and tied for the team high in assists with eight.

    Boston may not have won that game, but anyone who watched it will never forget that epic battle between the Celtics legend and the future league MVP.


  • March 8, 2006

    If you haven’t learned by now, here’s a newsflash: Paul Pierce can really fill it up. He showcased his scoring prowess as well as he ever has from Feb. 4, 2006 through March 8, 2006, when he scored at least 30 points in 13 of his 14 games.

    That streak was highlighted by Pierce’s 50-point performance against LeBron James and the Cavaliers on Feb. 15. Pierce ended the streak in style, notching a triple-double that consisted of 31 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in a winning effort against Philadelphia.


  • July 31, 2007

    July 31, 2007 was a seminal moment in Boston Celtics history. About a month after acquiring Ray Allen from Seattle, the Celtics completed their modern day version of the Big Three by adding Kevin Garnett to the mix. Those two players teamed up with Paul Pierce to create a superteam in Boston, which would go on to experience immediate success in its first season together.


  • May 18, 2008

    No one will ever forget that the Celtics won their 17th World Championship in 2008. They’d better not forget how the Celtics got to that point, either.

    Without a heroic performance from Paul Pierce in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, a title may have never come Boston’s way. Pierce dueled with LeBron James – again – throughout that game and finished with 41 points to James’ 45. Pierce outperformed James when it came to efficiency; he shot better than James did from the field, from 3-point range and from the free-throw line.


  • June 17, 2008

    Ten years of hard work, trials and tribulations all paid off for Pierce on June 17, 2008. That is the day he became a champion and cemented his position in Celtics lore.

    Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen helped the Celtics take home their first championship in 22 years by blowing out the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals. Pierce finished the series with averages of 21.8 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game and 6.3 assists per game, which landed him the Finals MVP award.


  • April 28, 2009

    A first-round meeting between the Kevin Garnett-less Celtics and the Chicago Bulls, led by rookie point guard Derrick Rose, wasn’t supposed to be anything special. It wound up becoming one of the greatest series in NBA playoff history.

    Boston won the series in seven games to advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals, but they may not have gotten that far without Paul Pierce’s heroics in Game 5. With Garnett injured and Ray Allen fouled out, Pierce took it upon himself to win the game. He sent the game to overtime by hitting a clutch jumper with 10 seconds left in regulation, then scored Boston’s final six points of the overtime session to push the C’s to a 106-104 victory. Pierce finished the game with 26 points on 50 percent shooting.


  • February 13, 2010

    The self-proclaimed “greatest shooter of all-time” had reason to claim such a title at the All-Star weekend in 2010. Pierce, who shot 44.8 percent from 3-point range prior to the All-Star break in 2009-10, carried his hot shooting into the weekend at the Three-Point Shootout.

    Pierce won the contest while wearing a grin on his face throughout. He outlasted sharpshooters like Stephen Curry, Chauncey Billups and defending champion Darquan Cook. Pierce hit all five of his “moneyballs” in the final round en route to 20 points, which was the sixth-best final-total in the history of the event.


  • November 3, 2010

    Pierce joined an elite group on Nov. 3, 2010, when he scored his 20,000th career point. That milestone arrived via a free throw against the Milwaukee Bucks on Nov. 3, 2010 at TD Garden. Pierce nailed the freebie, sending the crowd into a frenzy, and then posed for an iconic photo that will forever be remembered. With both hands held high into the air making the “peace” sign and his head hanging low, Boston’s fans let their captain know how much they appreciated his incredible accomplishment.


  • February 7, 2012

    Whenever you pass Larry Bird in the record books, it’s a moment to remember. Pierce passed Bird for second on the Celtics’ all-time scoring list on Feb. 7, 2012, when he scored his 21,792nd point. He trails only John Havlicek, who scored 26,395 career points with the C’s, in team history.


  • March 9, 2012

    Pierce played in his 1,000th game with the Celtics on March 9, 2012. He leaves the Celtics having played 1,102 games with the team, which is just short of John Havlicek’s team record of 1,270 games.


  • March 13, 2013

    In his final milestone moment with the Celtics, Paul Pierce passed Hall of Famer Charles Barkley for 20th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Pierce passed Barkley with – you guessed it – a free throw against the Toronto Raptors on March 13, 2013. Pierce finished the 2012-13 season with 24,368 points under his belt and has the potential to move into the top 15 on the list in the upcoming season.

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