🏀 Paul Pierce Named a Finalist for the 2021 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Former Kansas guard Paul Pierce was named one of 14 finalists for the 2021 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class on March 9. This is the first time Pierce was eligible for nomination to the Hall of Fame.
Pierce is one of nine players, along with five coaches to be named finalists. Including Pierce, an NBA Finals MVP and 10-time NBA All-Star, this year’s list includes nine first-time finalists: the ninth-winningest coach in NBA history Rick Adelman, two-time NBA champion and 11-time NBA All-Star Chris Bosh, five-time NBA champion and five-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection Michael Cooper, the first Black NBA head coach Bill Russell, two-time NCAA national champion Villanova coach Jay Wright, seven-time WNBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Yolanda Griffith, seven-time WNBA All-Star and three-time WNBA Most Valuable Player Lauren Jackson, and NCAA national champion and WNBA Coach of the Year Marianne Stanley. Previous finalists are: the all-time winningest high school coach Leta Andrews, five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway, consensus National Collegiate Player of the Year Marques Johnson, four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace, and five-time NBA All-Star Chris Webber.
The storied playing career of Pierce concluded when he announced his retirement from the NBA following the 2017-18 season. Affectionately known as “The Truth,” Pierce played 19 seasons in the NBA, which was the longest-tenured Jayhawk in the NBA of all-time.
After being selected 10th overall by the Boston Celtics in the 1998 NBA Draft following his junior season at KU, Pierce went on to become a 10-time NBA All-Star, four-time All-NBA selection, NBA champion (2008) and NBA Finals MVP (2008). With 26,397 career points, he ranks 15th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
As a Jayhawk, Pierce was a 1998 Consensus All-America First Team selection. In just three seasons at Kansas, Pierce ranks 10th on the KU career scoring list with 1,768 points and also ranks in the top 20 in rebounds and steals. He was most outstanding player in both the 1997 and 1998 Big 12 Tournaments and his jersey was officially retired from KU in during the 2003 season.
The entire Class of 2021, including those selected by the direct elect committees, will be unveiled on May 16, 2021. Direct elect committees include the International Committee, Men’s and Women’s Veterans Committees, the Early African American Pioneer Committee and the Contributor Committee. The Class of 2021 Enshrinement ceremony is scheduled to take place in September 2021. The date of the Class of 2021 Ceremony will be announced prior to the Class of 2021 Announcement on May 16.
As previously announced, the Class of 2020 Enshrinement ceremony has been rescheduled and relocated due to COVID-19 and is scheduled for May 14-16, 2021 at Mohegan Sun.