The former No. 1 draft pick in the 2002 WNBA draft — Sue Bird — has officially announced that the season will be her last via Twitter and Instagram.
“I’ve decided this will be my final year,” she wrote in a post shared on her social media accounts. “I have loved every single minute, and still do, so gonna play my last, just like this girl played her first.”‘
Bird has played for the Seattle Storm for 21 years and after this season she will have played with them for 19 seasons. Throughout her career with the Storm, Bird is undefeated in her WNBA Championship appearances racking up wins in 2004, 2010, 2018 and 2020. Along with her four WNBA titles, Bird has chalked up five Olympic gold medals with Team USA and five EuroLeague titles between Spartak Moscow and UMMC Ekaterinburg.
The longtime WNBA star has played in 559 games and appeared in the starting five for all of them, making her the only player to start in more than 500 games. Her achievements don’t stop there — Bird is a 12-time All-Star and an eight-time All-WNBA selection. Her decorated career is also accompanied by the several records that she holds in the WNBA, including — all-time assist leader (3,114), second in career 3s (965), fourth in steals (700) and seventh in scoring (6,639).
While Bird has done a tremendous job making a name for herself on the court, she has also made a name for herself while seeking off-court positions such as vice president of the WNBA players’ association, an ESPN Megacast with Diana Taurasi during the 2022 women’s Final Four and a front office position with the Denver Nuggets as their Basketball Operations Associate. Most recently, Bird teamed up with a few other top female athletes — Alex Morgan, Simone Manuel and Chloe Kim — in 2021 to launch TOGETHXR, a media platform that converges sports, lifestyle, activism and culture.
It is safe to say that the Seattle Storm icon has nothing left to prove, as she is retiring as one of the — if not the best — WNBA player in the league’s history. Bird has left a mark in the sports industry and has been a huge inspiration to female athletes. She had accomplished everything.
Throughout the 2021 season, fans began to theorize that Bird would retire at the end of the season, so following their season ending loss fans chanted “one more year.” Bird listened and resigned for the 2022 season.
Considering that Bird listened to her fans and returned for a final year, shows what kind of person she is. Bird is a people pleaser, not only for her teammates but for her fans. She makes sure they know that she is listening and that she cares for those who support her.
Although fans may not be able to persuade her to push back her retirement yet another season again, they will get the satisfaction of watching Bird and the Seattle Storm hunt for another post-season appearance.
Congratulations Sue Bird on an outstanding career and thank you for the memories.