Matt Bonner was born in Concord, New Hampshire in 1980. He attended Concord High School, where he played for the Concord Crimson Tide high school basketball team, helping the Crimson Tide win three state championships. Due to the strong support by his father, a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier, and his mother, an elementary school teacher in Concord, Matt graduated at the top of his class in academics.
Matt has two younger siblings, Luke and Becky. Matt's brother, Luke, attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst and played basketball there. He then played for Neptūnas Klaipėda in Lithuania and the Austin Toros of the NBA D-League.
Bonner received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for coach Billy Donovan's Florida Gators basketball team from 1999 to 2003. In his four seasons playing for the Florida Gators, Bonner amassed 1,570 points, 778 rebounds and 165 three-point field goals, and finished his career ranked in the top 10 in six categories.
Bonner graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree and a 3.96 grade point average (GPA), and was named the Verizon Academic All-American of the Year for the sport of basketball in both 2002 and 2003.
Standing 6'10" at 240 pounds, Bonner was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the second round of the 2003 NBA Draft, and then traded to the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors recognized the potential in Bonner but did not have a roster position available. Bonner was asked to spend a year in Europe honing his skills with a verbal promise to give him a shot at making the team in 2004.
After signing with Sicilia Messina of the Italian league based in Messina, Sicily, 2003 proved to be a harrowing year for Bonner. Sicilia had filed for bankruptcy in the middle of the season and had stopped paying its players. Bonner's heat and electricity were shut off and he was given two eviction notices. Despite half the team leaving, Bonner stuck it out and finished the year averaging 19.2 points and 9.3 rebounds.
Bonner signed with the Raptors before the 2004–05 NBA season, averaging 7.2 points per game and played in all 82 of the Raptors' games. Matt received the nickname "Red Rocket" during the same season because he has red hair and was constantly sighted on the public transit in Toronto, the TTC, whose streetcars are red and slogan is 'Ride the Rocket'.
Matt Bonner's first prominent moment as a Raptor occurred on December 2004 during an exciting game at the Air Canada Centre. Extending for a rebound, he knocked all-star Kevin Garnett from behind, sending him sprawling to the ground prompting the two players to get into a heated exchange. The crowd chanted "Bonner, Bonner" as he was ejected from the game. This immediately established Matt as a fan favorite with Raptors fans rallying behind Bonner.
In the 2005–06 season Bonner played 78 games averaging 7.5 points per game, 3.6 rebounds per game and shot 44.8% from the field. He ranked 14th in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage, and was one of the first players the Raptors looked to for three-point shots.
On June 21, 2006, Bonner was traded with Eric Williams and a second round pick in the 2006 NBA Draft to the San Antonio Spurs for Radoslav Nesterović and cash considerations.
While with the Spurs in the 2006–07 season, Bonner played in 56 games averaging 4.9 points per game in 11.7 minutes per game. The team went on to win the league championship and Bonner received his championship ring in a ceremony on October 30, 2007 prior to a game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
On December 11, 2007, Bonner registered career highs of 25 points and 17 rebounds in a loss to the Golden State Warriors.
In 2010, he was chosen as the 19th-smartest athlete in sports by Sporting News.
He led the league in 3-point percentage in the 2010–11 season, shooting .457% from the field.
On February 16, 2013, Bonner participated in the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout where he made 19 points in the first round, outlasting Ryan Anderson (18), and Stephen Curry (17), but lost to Kyrie Irving in the final round 20–23.
- 2002–03 Honorable Mention All-American
- 2002–03 Verizon Academic All-American of the Year
- 2002–03 All-SEC First Team by Associated Press
- 2002–03 All-SEC First Team by Coaches
- 2002–03 SEC Leader In Three-Point Shooting Percentage(.474)
- 2002–03 All-SEC Academic pick
- 2001–02 Honorable Mention All-American
- 2001–02 Verizon Academic All-American of the Year
- 2001–02 All-SEC Second Team
- 2001–02 All-SEC Academic pick
- 2000–01 All-SEC Third Team
- 2000–01 All-SEC Academic pick
- 1998–99 NHIAA Champions – Concord HS
- 1997–98 NHIAA Champions – Concord HS
- 1996–97 NHIAA Champions – Concord HS
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|
|Led the league|