|Born||August 19, 1959|
|Listed height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Listed weight||205 lb (93 kg)|
|High school||Garland (Garland, Texas)|
|NBA draft||1982 / Round: 1 / Pick: 18th overall|
|Selected by the Detroit Pistons|
|Position||Shooting guard / Small forward|
|Number||22, 25, 21|
|1983–1984||San Diego Clippers|
|1994–1995||Golden State Warriors|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||14,467 (14.9 ppg)|
|Rebounds||2,296 (2.4 rpg)|
|Assists||1,826 (1.9 apg)|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Richard Charles Pierce (born August 19, 1959) is an American retired National Basketball Association (NBA) player. He was named an NBA All-Star (1991) and was twice the NBA Sixth Man of the Year (1987, 1990) while with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Pierce was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the 1st round (18th pick) of the 1982 NBA Draft. Used sparingly in his rookie season, he was traded to the San Diego Clippers immediately prior to the 1983-84 NBA season for two future 2nd round draft picks.
San Diego Clippers
Pierce became a rotation regular during his one season with the Clippers, averaging 9.9 points and 18.6 minutes per game. He started 35 games during the season, highlighted by a then-career-high 30-point performance against San Antonio in his first start as a Clipper.
Pierce was traded by the San Diego Clippers before the 1984-85 season along with Terry Cummings to the Milwaukee Bucks. The trade, which also brought Craig Hodges to Milwaukee, while sending veterans Junior Bridgeman and Marques Johnson (both would eventually have their jerseys retired in Milwaukee) to the Clippers, is viewed as having worked much better for the Bucks than the Clippers.
Pierce was reunited with his coach at Rice, Mike Schuler, who was then an assistant coach for the Bucks. Pierce would go on to average 17 points per game over the next 6 full seasons in Milwaukee, despite starting only 46 games in that time.
On February 27, 1985, Pierce scored 20 points, alongside 4 rebounds and 4 assists, in a win against the Utah Jazz. On March 13, 1985, Pierce scored 22 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, and recorded 6 assists in a win against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Pierce and the Bucks would go on to beat Michael Jordan and the Bulls 3-1 in the first round of the playoffs, before being upset by the lower seeded Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Pierce won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award for 1986–87 for averaging 19.5 points per game with a 53.4% shooting percentage in his third season with the Bucks. That same postseason, on May 8, 1987, Pierce led the Bucks with 29 points off the bench in a Game 3 victory against Boston Celtics, however, Boston would ultimately win the series. He earned the same award again three seasons later, averaging 23.0 points per game without starting a single one (an NBA record) in 1989–90. On December 5, 1989, Pierce scored a career-high 45 points in a loss against the Sacramento Kings. In the week preceding the 1991 trade deadline, the Bucks traded Pierce to the Seattle SuperSonics for Dale Ellis.
When asked about referring to himself as a “hired gun” in relation to being a designated scorer who bounced around on several teams, Pierce said “The teams would let you know that you were hired to play a certain role. That was the role that I took on, my strength, my scoring ability. That was what I focused on. One time, in the middle of a game, I was passing the ball a lot. Coach Don Nelson called a timeout. He told me ‘I have Paul Pressey to pass. Your job is to score the ball.’ I thought that was kind of cool. I really liked that.”
Pierce became a regular starter in the 1991–92 season, his first full season with the Sonics. He made 75 consecutive free throws through several games in November–December 1991, the second-longest such streak at that time. In 1993, Pierce and teammates Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp led the Sonics to Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, but lost to the Phoenix Suns. Pierce returned to the bench for 1993–94 following Seattle's off-season acquisition of Kendall Gill.
Golden State Warriors
On July 18, 1994, Pierce was traded along with Carlos Rogers and two draft picks to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Byron Houston and Sarunas Marciulionis. Pierce battled foot and back injuries during the season and was only able to see action in 27 games.
Prior to the 1995–96 season, Pierce signed with the Indiana Pacers as an unrestricted free agent. Healthy once more, Pierce appeared in 76 games, and after starting only 2 games all season, he started 4 of the Pacers' 5 first round playoff games, contributing 10.2 points and 3.0 assists per game.
Indiana traded Pierce to the Denver Nuggets before the start of 1996–97 season, sending Mark Jackson and a 1st round draft pick to the Nuggets in exchange for Jalen Rose, Reggie Williams, and the Nuggets' 1st round pick. In February, with the Nuggets out of the playoff picture, Pierce was traded to the Charlotte Hornets for Anthony Goldwire and George Zidek.
Pierce played an expanded role with the playoff-bound Hornets, starting 17 of the final 29 games and averaging 12 points per game. In the playoffs, Pierce started the first 2 games of the Hornets' series with the New York Knicks and contributed 11 points off the bench in the third, which would be his final playoff game as a player.
AEK BC Athens, return to the Bucks and retirement
Without a contract for the 1997–98 season, Pierce signed to play with AEK B.C. Athens, a Greek professional team and one of the best in the country. Pierce played five games with AEK before signing as a free agent with the Milwaukee Bucks in December 1997. On December 19, Pierce scored 13 points in a 92-91 loss against the Toronto Raptors. He retired from basketball at the end of the season.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
Post playing career
Since retiring, Pierce has developed his own basketball system that assists with shooting accuracy with specially-designed fingertip-placement markers. Pierce developed the idea after watching his son, Aron, playing basketball at the YMCA. Pierce was giving advice to parents on how to teach their kids the perfect jump shot. A product would later be developed known as the Accushot22, a specially designed basketball with 10 oval indentations. The product sells for $37.95, although hundreds are given away free to underprivileged children.
- "Bellaire, River Oaks, West U".
- "No. 9 — Terry Cummings, Ricky Pierce, Craig Hodges".
- "Cleveland Cavaliers at Milwaukee Bucks Box Score, March 13, 1985".
- "Cleveland Cavaliers at Milwaukee Bucks Box Score, March 13, 1985".
- "1984-85 Milwaukee Bucks Roster and Stats".
- "Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks Box Score, May 8, 1987".
- "Player Season Finder: Games Started = 0; sorted by descending Points Per Game". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
- "Milwaukee Bucks at Sacramento Kings Box Score, December 5, 1989".
- "Ricky Pierce Q&A: Signing Autographs in High School, Massive Television Room, Finishing Games". April 18, 2021.
- "Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors Box Score, December 19, 1997".
- Shoot like All-Star? Ricky Pierce says no problem by Kate Hairopoulos, The Dallas Morning News, September 11, 2006.
- Sports Illustrated, July 2, 2007, p. 118.
- Rice's 99th Commencement Included Over 100 Student-Athletes riceowls.com, May 12, 2012