P. J. Tucker
Tucker with the Suns in December 2012
|No. 17 – Houston Rockets|
|Position||Small forward / Power forward|
|Born||May 5, 1985|
Raleigh, North Carolina
|Listed height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Listed weight||245 lb (111 kg)|
|High school||William G. Enloe|
(Raleigh, North Carolina)
|NBA draft||2006 / Round: 2 / Pick: 35th overall|
|Selected by the Toronto Raptors|
|2011||Piratas de Quebradillas|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
High school and college
Tucker attended William G. Enloe High School in Raleigh before playing college basketball player for the University of Texas. In high school, Tucker was named North Carolina Player of the Year in 2002 and his jersey number was later retired. In his three seasons at Texas, he scored 1,169 points, including a career-high 594 in the 2005–06 season. He also had 714 rebounds, 170 assists (including 107 in 2005–06), and 116 steals throughout his career. After being unable to play most of his sophomore season due to poor academics, Tucker was named a second-team All-American and the Big 12 Player of the Year in his junior year.
Beginnings and international career
On January 5, 2007, the Raptors announced that Tucker had been sent to the Colorado 14ers of the NBA Development League. Colorado, led by head coach Joe Wolf, had been designated as Toronto's D-League affiliate for the 2006–07 season. On February 6, 2007, the Raptors recalled Tucker to the NBA. On March 6, 2007, Tucker was sent back to the 14ers.
On March 24, 2007, Tucker was waived by the Raptors in order to free a roster spot for Luke Jackson. He played a total of 83 minutes during his only season with the Raptors. Tucker was also on the 2007 Summer League roster for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In the 2007–08 season with Hapoel Holon from Israeli Premier League, Tucker won the MVP trophy and led his team to the league title. Holon broke Maccabi Tel Aviv's fourteen-year streak as Israeli champions.
For the 2008–09 season he signed with a BC Donetsk team that was just promoted to the Ukrainian Basketball Super League. He led the team to a current third place in the league at its first appearance there, as well as become a Ukrainian SuperLeague All-Star. A season ending knee injury didn't prevent Tucker from finishing the season with the highest average of points per game in the league. On October 7, 2009, Tucker renewed his contract with Donetsk for the 2009–10 season. After the team bankrupted he returned to Israel in March 2010 and signed for Bnei HaSharon until the end of the season.
Phoenix Suns (2012–2017)
During the summer of 2012, Tucker signed a contract to play for Spartak St. Petersburg of Russia, but he soon opted out of it to play for the Phoenix Suns' NBA Summer League team, and on August 1, 2012, he signed a two-year deal with the Suns, with a team option in his second year. In his first game back in the NBA, Tucker recorded 10 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block in an 87–85 loss to the Golden State Warriors. On November 23, 2012, he scored a then career-high 15 points in a 111–108 overtime win over the New Orleans Hornets. Tucker made his first start for the Suns on December 31 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, as he started the majority of the Suns' games for the rest of the 2012–13 NBA season.
On February 8, 2014, Tucker recorded 16 points, a career-high 15 rebounds and 4 steals in a 122–109 win over the Warriors, becoming the first Suns player to have 15 points, 15 rebounds and 4 steals in a game since Shawn Marion in 2007. On February 25, he tied his career high with a 15-rebound effort against the Minnesota Timberwolves. On April 6, Tucker scored a career-high 22 points in a 122–115 win over the Thunder.
On June 27, 2014, the Suns extended Tucker a qualifying offer, making him a restricted free agent. On July 23, he re-signed with the Suns to a three-year, $16.5 million contract. In August 2014, he was suspended for the first three games of the 2014–15 season without pay for pleading guilty to driving while under the extreme influence in May 2014. He returned from suspension on November 4, 2014, to face the Los Angeles Lakers.
On December 31, 2015, Tucker tied his career high of 22 points in a loss to the Thunder. On January 26, 2016, he recorded a career-high eight assists in a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. On March 14, he scored a career-high 23 points in a 107–104 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. He topped that mark on April 7, scoring 24 points in a 124–115 win over the Houston Rockets. He played in all 82 games for the Suns in 2015–16, the only player to do so.
On September 15, 2016, Tucker underwent a successful low back microdiscectomy procedure and was subsequently ruled out for six to eight weeks. He returned in time for the start of the regular season, but was assigned a bench role for the first time since the 2012–13 season. He returned to the starting lineup in late November following an injury to T. J. Warren. On November 27, 2016, he scored a season-high 21 points against the Denver Nuggets. Tucker reassumed his bench role in late December following Warren's return from injury; he continued coming off the bench for the Suns throughout the season until the All-Star break.
Return to Toronto (2017)
On February 23, 2017, Tucker was traded back to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Jared Sullinger, second-round draft picks in 2017 and 2018 and cash considerations. The next day, in his first game as a Raptor since 2007, Tucker had a game-high 10 rebounds and nine points in a 107–97 win over the Boston Celtics. On April 15, 2017, after playing 418 games over seven seasons, Tucker made his playoff debut in the Raptors' 97–83 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. The Raptors went on to defeat the Bucks in six games to move on to the second round, where they faced the Cleveland Cavaliers. There they were swept 4–0 by the Cavaliers. In Game 4 of the series, a 109–102 loss, Tucker had 14 points and 12 rebounds in his first career playoff start.
Houston Rockets (2017–present)
On July 6, 2017, Tucker signed a four-year, $32 million contract with the Houston Rockets. In his debut for the Rockets in their season opener on October 17, 2017, Tucker scored 20 points in a 122–121 win over the Golden State Warriors. He hit two free throws with 44.1 seconds left to make it 122–121. On March 30, 2018, he scored 18 points and made a career-high five 3-pointers in a 104–103 win over the Suns. In Game 5 of the Rockets' first-round playoff series against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Tucker scored a playoff career-high 15 points in a 122–104 series-clinching win. In Game 5 of the Rockets' second-round series against the Utah Jazz, Tucker set a then new playoff career high with 19 points in a 112–102 series-clinching win. In Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors, Tucker set a new playoff career high with 22 points in a 127–105 win, helping the Rockets tie the series at 1–1. The Rockets went on to lose to the Warriors in seven games.
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|
Tucker is the son of Anthony and Aleshia Tucker. His real name is Anthony Leon Tucker Jr., but his dad called him "Pop Junior," hence PJ. He spent part of his childhood living in Germany while his father served in the Army.
In May 2014, Tucker was arrested for DUI by Scottsdale police. As a result, Tucker received a three-day jail sentence and 11 days of house detention. In addition, an ignition interlock device was placed on his vehicles for 18 months, he was placed on five-year probation, was subject to substance abuse screening and counseling, and paid $2,750 in fines, not including court and jail costs of up to $200 per day.
Tucker is a self-proclaimed "sneakerhead" and stores hundreds of pairs of basketball shoes in at least four different locations across the country. On August 22, 2016, SLAM Magazine named Tucker the solidified number 1 sneakerhead in the NBA, due to not only his number of shoes, but also their quality. Some of his shoes include rare brands of sneakers from former NBA players such as Shawn Marion, Michael Finley, Josh Howard, and Eddie Jones, as well as some previously worn for Fat Joe when he was a member of the Terror Squad.
- "P.J. Tucker". NBA.com. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- Logan Newman (February 17, 2019). "Home for All-Star break, P.J. Tucker's jersey retired by NC high school". usatodayhss.com. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
- "Longhorns spotlight: P.J. Tucker". texassports.com. January 13, 2006. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
- Rosner, Mark (March 15, 2006). "Tucker makes the grade" (PDF). Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
- Vertuno, Jim (March 8, 2006). "Tucker named AP Big 12 player of the year". Plainview Daily Herald. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
- "P.J. Tucker (2004-06)". texassports.com. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
- Wilkerson, William (March 25, 2007). "Ex-Longhorn Tucker released by Raptors" (registration required). Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved April 11, 2007.[dead link]
- NBA.com : Summer League 2007 Archived December 25, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- "Таккер Пи Джей". bc.Donetsk.ua. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "БК "Донецк" подписал Пи Джея Таккера". bc.Donetsk.ua. Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 9, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Таккер – снова донецкий «тигр»! Archived September 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine (in Ukrainian)
- "P.J. Tucker - An International Journey - The Basketball Fans". The Basketball Fans. July 2, 2018. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
- Roa, Published por Alberto de. "Aris Thessaloniki and P.J. Tucker reach a two-year agreement". thehoopsmarket.Blogspot.com. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- ΑΝΑΚΟΙΝΩΣΗ ΚΑΕ ΑΡΗΣ (in Greek)
- PJ Tucker alla Fabi Shoes: altro sforzo della Triade Archived May 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine (in Italian)
- "Brose Baskets adds scoring ace Tucker". Euroleague.net. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "SUNS SIGN P.J. TUCKER - THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE PHOENIX SUNS". nba.com. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "Suns at Thunder". NBA.com. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "Warriors at Suns". NBA.com. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- King, Dave (February 9, 2014). "Last Year's Suns: "We're all happy now."". BrightSideOfTheSun.com. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "Timberwolves at Suns". NBA.com. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "Thunder at Suns". NBA.com. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "Suns Extend Qualifying Offers to Bledsoe, Tucker". NBA.com. June 27, 2014. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
- "Suns Re-Sign P.J. Tucker - Phoenix Suns". nba.com. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "P.J. Tucker Signs Three-Year, $16.5M Deal With Suns - RealGM Wiretap". RealGM.com. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "P.J. Tucker Suspended Three Games By NBA For DUI - RealGM Wiretap". realgm.com. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "Suns at Lakers". NBA.com. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "#SunsAtThunder By the Numbers: December 31 - Phoenix Suns". NBA.com. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- Suns Game Notes – February 27, 2016
- "Timberwolves vs Suns". NBA.com. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "Suns vs Rockets". NBA.com. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "2015-16 Phoenix Suns Roster and Stats - Basketball-Reference.com". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "Suns Forward P.J. Tucker Undergoes Back Surgery - Phoenix Suns". nba.com. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "P.J. Tucker 2016-17 Game Log - Basketball-Reference.com". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- P.J. Tucker 2016-17 Game Log
- "Raptors Acquire Tucker From The Suns". NBA.com. February 23, 2017. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
- "DeRozan has career-high 43, Raptors beat Celtics 107-97". ESPN.com. February 24, 2017. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
- "Antetokounmpo scores 28 points, Bucks beat Raptors 97-83". ESPN.com. April 15, 2017. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
- "LeBron James scores 35 points, Cavaliers sweep Raptors". ESPN.com. May 7, 2017. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
- "Rockets Sign Free Agent P.J. Tucker". NBA.com. July 6, 2017. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- MacMahon, Tim (July 1, 2017). "Rockets, P.J. Tucker reach 4-year, $32 million deal, sources say". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- "Rockets rally to spoil defending champion Warriors return". ESPN.com. October 17, 2017. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
- "Green's 3-pointer at buzzer lifts Rockets over Suns 104-103". ESPN.com. March 30, 2018. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
- "Capela scores 26; Rockets eliminate Wolves with 122-104 win". ESPN.com. April 25, 2018. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
- "Paul scores 41 as Rockets eliminate Jazz 112-102". ESPN.com. May 8, 2018. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
- "Rockets rout Warriors 127-105 to tie series at 1-all". ESPN.com. May 16, 2018. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
- "Harden, Capela help Rockets over Nuggets 125-113". ESPN.com. January 7, 2019. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
- "Suns' P.J. Tucker receives jail time for DUI, apologizes to fans". AzCentral.com. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- Cacciola, Scott (January 29, 2014). "A Huge N.B.A. Rivalry: Sneaker Collections". NYTimes.com. Retrieved December 31, 2016.
- Kiel, George (August 22, 2016). "Plugged In". SlamOnline.com. Retrieved December 31, 2016.