Paul Pierce played three seasons at Kansas during the ’96, ’97, ’98 seasons. Pierce was teammates with future Orlando Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn during the 1996 season and played for Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams during his tenure at Kansas.
Over his three seasons at Kansas, Pierce averaged 16.4 points and 6.3 rebounds on the court while he majored in Crime and Delinquency Studies off the court. Pierce was named MVP in the 1997 and 1998 Big XII Conference tournaments and was the vocal leader of the team both years.
In the 1998 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics selected Paul Pierce with the 10th overall pick where he began one of the most illustrious careers of any Celtic ever.
Pierce stuck with the Celtics through a lot; swirling trade rumors, losing seasons, injuries, through thick and thin, Pierce stuck with the Celtics and the Celtics stuck with him. Both sides loyalty would eventually pay off.
In the summer of 2007, the Celtic front office mad some blockbuster moves to acquire All-Stars Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. Together, the three stars created the original “Big 3.” Their first year together, Pierce, Garnett, and Allen brought Boston home the teams 17th championship after beating Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in 6 games.
In 2010, the Big 3 again made the NBA Finals where they took a 3-2 lead in the 7 game series but ultimately lost the series after starting center Kendrick Perkins went down with an injury that really hobbled the team for the last few games of the series.
Pierce has been known for his constant face-offs with LeBron James. Pierce and James became fierce rivals dating back to James’ days in Cleveland and it seems like they have to go through each other each year in order to make the Finals. This has made for some historically great playoff games.
In the summer of 2013, Pierce and Garnett were traded to the rival Brooklyn Nets for a few draft picks and players, ending Pierce’s 15-year career in Boston against his will. He previously expressed his desire to stay in Boston, as he wanted to complete his career as a Celtic.
Paul Pierce is one of the few NBA players that has remained loyal to one franchise through his entire career and has even dropped hints that he would like to return to Boston before his career is officially over.
Pierce has a championship under his belt, as well as a Finals MVP (2008). He is a 10-time All-Star, and even won the NBA 3-Point Shooting contest in 2010.
On top of all this, he holds almost all team records for the Boston Celtics including 3-pointers made, free throws made, most points scored in a game, most steals in a game, and others. He is also second on the Celtics all-time scoring list behind only Hall of Famer John Havlicek.
Pierce is a sure-fire Hall of Famer and his success in the NBA is a result of the time that he spent with the Kansas Jayhawks and Jayhawk nation should not soon forget where Pierce came from and that he is one of the best Jayhawks of all time.