Bonner was born on April 5, 1980 to Dave and Paula Bonner in Concord. His father was a mailman and his mother a school teacher. Matt has a younger sister and brother. After high school, he attended the University of Florida, where he became a star athlete in the Florida Gators organization and graduated with a 3.96 GPA. Bonner was also named Verizon Academic All-American of the Year in 2002 and 2003.
He was acquired by the Toronto Raptors on June 26, 2003, after being drafted 45th overall by the Chicago Bulls. Although he played that summer, he failed to earn a spot on the team in the fall. So, he signed with an Italian A1 League team, Sicilia and moved to Italy where he averaged 19.2 points and 9.3 rebounds. The team ended up going bankrupt during the 2003-04 season, but Bonner fulfilled his commitment to them, despite not getting paid during the second half of the year. He was nearly evicted from his apartment, lived without heat and electricity for a time, and developed a severe case of salmonella poisoning as a result.
Bonner returned to North America to play with the Raptors in the 2004-05 season and averaged 7.2 points per game, ranking in the Top 10 in the NBA for rookie scoring. The following year, he averaged 7.5 points per game and 3.6 rebounds, with 44.8% of his shots coming from the field.
On June 21, 2006, he was traded to the San Antonio Spurs. The 6'10" 240-lb ball player had a left knee injury in January 2007 that put him on the disabled list for several games. During the '06-07 season, he played in 56 games and averaged 4.9 points per game. The Spurs won the league championship during that season. In a highlight of his career, Matt scored 25 points and 17 rebounds in a game against the Golden State Warriors on December 11, 2007.
The 2007-2008 season saw the Spurs in the playoffs once again. Bonner played in two post-season games, averaging 2 points, one rebound and one assist per game.
During the 2008-2009 season, Bonner was the starting center from December through March. He played in 81 games, averaging 8.2 points per game. Also in 2008, Matt signed a contract with New Balance to create his own sneaker.
Matt and his brother Luke started "Sneakers and Speakers," a charity event that raises money for the Boys and Girls Club, where Matt first learned to play basketball. The event, which is held during the summer, features both a free basketball clinic for the children of the community, and a concert at the Capitol Center for the Arts. In February 2010, Bonner met with kids from New Hampshire for photos and autographs at the TD Banknorth Center before a game against the Celtics.
Matt became an unrestricted free agent in 2010. In July of 2010, Bonner signed a four year extension contract to stay on with the San Antonio Spurs. His 2009-2010 season he has averaged 7 points, 3.3 rebounds and has scored double digits 19 times. He led the team in scoring twice. In December, he broke a finger in his right hand, missing 15 games. During the 2010-11 season, Bonner led the league in 3-point percentage, shooting .457 from the field.
In 2011-12, Bonner averaged 6.6 points per game and his 3-point percentage was .420 during the regular season. The team went into the playoffs and he has played well despite an injury to his quad. A young fan, 12-year old Patrick Gonzalez, also a redhead, had his hair shaved with Matt Bonner's portrait to support the Forward during the playoffs. He was threatened with suspension from school. When Bonner heard about it, he found a way to get the boy and his family tickets to Game 2 of the Playoffs - fittingly, against the Clippers.
Bonner participated in the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout on February 16, 2013 and made 19 points in the first round. He lost to Kyrie Irving in the last round, 20-23.
The San Antonio Spurs have made it to the NBA Finals. In Game 6 they could have taken the prize but lost with 5.2 seconds remaining to the Miami Heat. The Miami Heat won the hard-fought series in Game 7 on June 20, 2013.
Matt Bonner interview clip:
Matt Bonner Gives a Tour of His Home:
Matt Bonner - Luckiest Guy in the NBA:
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