Seattle Storm star and five-time Olympic champion This was announced by Sue Bird on Thursday that the 2022 season will be her last game in the WNBA.
Bird, 41, ended the announcement; She had admitted in February when she re-signed with Seattle that this would likely be her last season. She seriously considered retiring after last season before deciding to return for a 19th season as a player.
Bird’s announcement came a day before Seattle’s game in Connecticut. The Storm finish their road trip Sunday in New York, about 30 miles from Bird’s birthplace in Syosset, New York.
“As I said, by the time the season was over I pretty much knew, and then when I saw the schedule and when I started packing a little bit for this trip, I was like, ‘Oh, this is going to be my last time in New to play York. The last time I played in front of my family and friends.” And that’s why the timing is the way it is,” Bird said in a video posted by The Storm on social media.
“I just had a strong feeling to announce my retirement and to say it was my final year so I can share that with my family and my friends, all the people in New York who saw me growing up, so they’re coming and see me play the last time in my home state. So I’m looking forward to it. It’s also bittersweet.
Bird is a four-time WNBA champion, a 12-time All-Star, and the league’s oldest player. She has spent her entire WNBA career at Seattle since becoming the #1 draft pick in 2002 after her legendary collegiate career at UConn. This season is her 21st in the franchise, although she is only playing her 19th after missing two seasons through injuries.
Your resume will be the envy of everyone in professional sports, let alone basketball. National championships at UConn in 2000 and 2002. WNBA titles with Seattle in 2004, 2008, 2018 and 2020, the last to arrive in the Florida WNBA “bubble” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Bird won five other titles playing abroad in the EuroLeague. Last year she added a fifth Olympic gold in Tokyo to win the United States of America in 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing, 2012 London and 2016 Rio de Janeiro.
Bird was the AP International of the Year in her final season at UConn. She is a five-time All-WNBA first-team selection, the league’s all-time all-time highest assist, and the only player to appear in more than 500 games in league history.
She has been honored on every list imaginable as one of the best and most influential players in league history. And she is the standard by which other point guards are measured.
Bird turns 42 in October and was close to retiring a year ago. When The Storm were eliminated by Phoenix Mercury in the playoffs, fans chanted, “One more year! One more year!” as she conducted a television interview in court.
That celebration was spurred on by Phoenix’s longtime star Diana Taurasi, Bird’s former college teammate at UConn and a part of all five of those Olympic gold medal runs.
In the end, the fans – and Taurasi – got what they wanted. Bird came back for exactly one more year.
“Sue Bird is Storm basketball,” her WNBA team tweeted shortly after Bird announced her decision. “Every moment, every memory has a constant. #10. It’s time for the final chapter.”