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Raja Bell
Raja Bell
Retired
Shooting Guard
Personal information
Born                           September 19, 1976 (1976-09-19) (age 40)
                                    Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Nationality                 U.S. Flag American
Listed height            6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight           215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school             Miami Killian
                                  (Miami, Florida)
College                   FIU (1997–1999)
NBA Draft                 1999 / Undrafted
Pro career               1999-present (18 years)
Career history
1999-2000                Yakima Sun Kings (CBA)
2001-2002                Philadelphia 76ers
2002-2003                Dallas Mavericks
2003-2005                Utah Jazz
2005-2008                Phoenix Suns
2008-2009                Charlotte Bobcats
2009-2010                Golden State Warriors
2010-2013                Utah Jazz
Career highlights and awards
  • NBA All-Defensive First Team (2007)
  • NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2008)
NBA.com profile profile (active)
profile (retired)

Raja Bell is a retired American basketball player who last played for the Utah Jazz. Bell is known for his three-point shooting and intense defense.

Biography

Bell was born in Saint Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands and grew up in the greater Miami, Florida area attending Ponce de Leon Junior High, Gulliver Academy, and Miami Killian Senior High School. He began his college career at Boston University, where he was America East Conference (then called North Atlantic Conference) Freshman of the Year. But after a sophomore year slump and difficulties with head coach Dennis Wolff, he transferred to Florida International University in Miami. As a Senior, he led FIU to a Sun Belt Conference tournament title, and a bid in the NCAA tournament. Bell went undrafted out of college.

NBA Career

Philadelphia 76ers (2001–2002)

He signed as a free agent with the San Antonio Spurs on August 2, 2000, but never played a game for them. He was eventually released, and signed with the Philadelphia 76ers on April 16, 2001. He played limited minutes in the final five of the Sixers' games in the 2000–01 regular season, but saw action in 15 of the team's 23 playoff games. The little-used Bell starred in Game 7 of the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals, scoring 10 points (all in the 2nd quarter) and rallying the Sixers from an early deficit against the Bucks as the 76ers won easily. He played in all five games for the 76ers in the 2001 NBA Finals.

Bell played in 74 games with the Sixers in the 2001–02 NBA season, averaging 3.4 points per game, and played in three of the team's five playoff games as the Sixers suffered a five-game playoff series loss to the Boston Celtics.

Dallas Mavericks (2002–2003)

On October 1, 2002, Bell signed as a free agent with the Dallas Mavericks, and he averaged 3.1 points in 15.6 minutes per game. For the first time in his NBA career, he gained extensive starting experience, starting in 32 of the 75 games he played.

Utah Jazz (2003–2005)

On September 26, 2003, Bell signed with the Utah Jazz,[1] and enjoyed what had been his most successful season since entering the NBA. Bell played in all 82 of the Jazz's games, and despite starting in only four of them, he posted career highs with 11.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 24.6 minutes per game. In the 2004–05 season he slightly improved upon these stats with 12.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game, despite playing in only 63 games.

Phoenix Suns (2005–2008)

On August 3, 2005, Bell signed with the Phoenix Suns.[2] Bell responded to the presence of Steve Nash and became an extremely solid contributor. He started in all 79 games he played in, and finished the 2005–06 season averaging 14.7 points per game in 37.5 minutes per game.

Bell also hit a career high 44.2% of his 3-point field goal attempts during the 2005–06 season. He was chosen to participate in the 2006 NBA Footlocker Three-Point Shootout, but did not participate due to a family illness and was replaced by Gilbert Arenas.

One of the most notable incidents of Bell's career occurred in the 2006 NBA Playoffs on May 2, 2006, in Game 5 of a first round series against the Los Angeles Lakers. Bell clotheslined Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant on a hard foul, resulting in an ejection (with 7:33 left to play in the game).[3] In the postgame press conference, Bell explained that he was retaliating to an elbow to the jaw from Bryant. "It's a personal thing when someone continually hits you in the face. That's the only way I can put it. I've been playing as hard as I can play. I've been trying to do a good job, I've been trying to be what my team needs me to be, and I continually get hit in my face. There doesn't seem to be any boundaries or limitations for what he's allowed to do to me, and at that point, I kind of lost my cool and I took it into my own hands." Bell was suspended for one game after his clothesline. The Suns eventually won the series in 7 games.[4]

During the next round of the 2006 NBA Playoffs, Bell demonstrated his clutch abilities in Game 5 with a last second three-pointer in overtime against the Los Angeles Clippers to tie the game and send it into double-overtime, where the Suns eventually pulled away to win and go up 3 to 2 in the series. In Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks, midway through the fourth quarter, Bell sustained a calf injury which forced him to miss the rest of the game, as well as the next two games of the series. Bell returned in Game 4 to help the Suns tie the series at two games apiece, though they eventually fell to the Mavericks.

On January 5, 2007, Bell was suspended one game without pay for kicking Andrea Bargnani in a road game against the Toronto Raptors.[5]

Bell finished the 2006–07 season with 205 total three-point shots made, tying the Washington Wizards' Gilbert Arenas for the league lead.[6]

Charlotte Bobcats (2008–2009)

On December 10, 2008, Bell was traded to the Charlotte Bobcats along with Boris Diaw and Sean Singletary in exchange for Jason Richardson, Jared Dudley, and a 2010 second round draft pick in a move by the Suns to retool their roster.[7] This came after a disappointing start to the season for Bell during which he posted just 9.6 points per game and saw a diminished role under new coach Terry Porter.

Golden State Warriors (2009–2010)

On November 16, 2009, Bell was traded to the Golden State Warriors along with Vladimir Radmanović in exchange for Stephen Jackson and Acie Law.[8] He played just 1 game for the Warriors. He was released from the team on March 22, 2010.[9]

Return to Jazz (2010–present)

On July 14, 2010, Bell signed a three-year, $10 million contract to return to the Utah Jazz.[10]

Personal life and family

On May 2, 2007, Bell's wife, Cindy, gave birth to their first child, Dia, by c-section six hours before tip-off of Game 5 against the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1st round of the 2007 NBA Playoffs.[11] The Suns won that game 119–110, closing the series at 4–1. His wife gave birth to another child, Tai Brooklyn, on November 8, 2008. He weighed 6 lbs, 8 oz and was 18 inches long.

Bell has been a vegetarian since early childhood and appeared on the ballot for PETA's 2007 "World's Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity" poll.[12]

NBA career statistics

Legend
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

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2000–01 Philadelphia 5 0 6.0 .286 .333 .000 .2 .0 .2 .0 1.0
2001–02 Philadelphia 74 12 12.0 .429 .273 .750 1.5 1.0 .3 .1 3.4
2002–03 Dallas 75 32 15.6 .441 .412 .676 1.9 .8 .7 .1 3.1
2003–04 Utah 82 4 24.6 .409 .373 .786 2.9 1.3 .8 .2 11.2
2004–05 Utah 63 32 28.4 .454 .403 .747 3.2 1.4 .7 .1 12.3
2005–06 Phoenix 79 79 37.5 .457 .442 .788 3.2 2.6 1.0 .3 14.7
2006–07 Phoenix 78 78 37.4 .432 .413 .776 3.2 2.5 .6 .3 14.7
2007–08 Phoenix 75 75 35.3 .421 .401 .868 3.7 2.2 .7 .4 11.9
2008–09 Phoenix 22 22 32.4 .429 .468 .762 2.9 1.3 .6 .1 9.6
2008–09 Charlotte 45 44 35.6 .440 .395 .877 4.0 2.5 .8 .1 13.0
2009–10 Charlotte 5 5 31.4 .436 .375 1.000 4.2 2.0 .8 .4 12.0
2009–10 Golden State 1 0 23.0 .667 1.000 .000 2.0 3.0 .0 .0 11.0
Career 604 383 28.0 .435 .411 .789 2.9 1.7 .7 .2 10.3

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2000–01 Philadelphia 15 0 8.3 .444 .250 .571 .9 .5 1.0 .0 2.3
2001–02 Philadelphia 3 0 2.7 .333 .000 .000 .3 .0 .0 .0 .7
2002–03 Dallas 17 7 17.9 .548 .462 .550 3.0 1.6 .3 .0 5.7
2005–06 Phoenix 17 17 39.6 .479 .465 .829 2.8 2.2 .6 .2 13.6
2006–07 Phoenix 11 11 39.8 .460 .444 .857 3.0 1.8 .9 .2 10.2
2007–08 Phoenix 5 5 43.0 .568 .650 .813 5.6 2.2 .4 .2 13.6
Career 68 40 25.9 .492 .466 .743 2.6 1.5 .6 .1 8.0

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