Paul Pierce was named to the 2021 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class on Sunday morning during a televised announcement on ESPN.
Pierce, who retired from the NBA after the 2016-17 season, played for the Kansas Jayhawks from 1995-98.
Pierce won an NBA title with the Boston Celtics in 2008, the team with which he spent the majority of his career. He also made stops with the Brooklyn Nets, the Washington Wizards, and the Los Angeles Clippers. He was the Most Valuable Player for that 2008 NBA Finals series, and his career included 10 All-Star Game appearances, one All-NBA Second Team selection, three All-NBA Third-Team selections and an NBA All-Rookie selection. His No. 34 was retired by the Celtics.
Pierce scored 26,397 points for his NBA career, along with grabbing 7,527 rebounds and dishing out 4,708 assists. In his prime, he was considered one of the game’s most dynamic performers.
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Pierce was the No. 10 overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft out of Kansas, where he earned consensus first-team All-American honors in 1998, along with First-Team All-Big 12 honors. He was a two-time Big 12 Tournament MVP (1997-98) and he left Lawrence a legend, as the school retired his No. 34 jersey. He went to Lawrence a highly-touted prep star, as he was a McDonald’s All-American in 1995, along with earning California Mr. Basketball honors.
Earlier this year Pierce was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame.
Pierce joins a raft of Kansas players and coaches in the Hall of Fame. Players include Wilt Chamberlain, Paul Endacott, William C. Johnson, Allen Kelley, Clyde Lovellette and Jo Jo White. Coaches include Phog Allen, Larry Brown, Roy Williams, Bill Self, and James Naismith. Former Kansas women’s player Lynette Woodard is also in the Hall.
On Saturday, former Oklahoma State head coach Eddie Sutton was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame during a televised ceremony. Eight others went into the Hall with Sutton, including former Baylor head women’s coach Kim Mulkey, who led the program to three national titles. Mulkey took the LSU job last month.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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