STORM

Seattle Storm legend Sue Bird says 2022 is her final season

Jun 16, 2022, 9:28 AM | Updated: Jul 18, 2022, 3:39 pm
Seattle Storm...
Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm reacts after beating Minnesota Lynx 97-74 at Climate Pledge Arena. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Seattle Storm star and five-time Olympic gold medalist Sue Bird announced Thursday the 2022 season will be her last playing in the WNBA.

The announcement by Bird, 41, ended any speculation about her future; she had acknowledged in February when she re-signed with Seattle that this would likely be her final season. She strongly considered retirement after last season before choosing to return for a 19th season as a player.

Bird’s announcement came a day before Seattle’s game at Connecticut. The Storm will close out their road trip on Sunday in New York, about 30 miles from where Bird grew up in Syosset, New York.

“As the season has gone, like I said, I pretty much knew, and then once I saw the schedule, and then once I started packing for this trip a little bit, I was like, ‘Oh, this is gonna be my last time playing in New York. My last time playing in front of my family and friends.’ And so that’s why the timing of this is what it is,” Bird said in a video posted by the Storm on social media.

“I just really felt strongly about announcing my retirement, saying it was my last year so I can share that with my family and my friends, all the people in New York who have watched me growing up so they can come and see me play for the last time in my home state. So I’m excited about that. It’s also bittersweet.”

Bird is a four-time WNBA champion, 12-time All-Star and the oldest player in the league. She has spent her entire WNBA career with Seattle since becoming the No. 1 draft pick in 2002 following her storied college career at UConn. This season is her 21st associated with the franchise although just her 19th playing after missing two seasons due to injuries. She is the league’s all-time leader in assists and the standard by which other point guards are judged.

Bird turns 42 in October and was on the cusp of stepping away a year ago, and when the Storm were eliminated by the Phoenix Mercury in the playoffs, fans chanted “One more year! One more year!” as she did an on-court televised interview.

Those cheers were egged on by Phoenix’s longtime star Diana Taurasi, Bird’s former college teammate at UConn and 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 moments after Bird made her decision known. “Every moment, every memory has one constant. No. 10. It’s time for the final chapter.”

Sue Bird, Seattle Storm win fourth straight to extend Lynx’s losing streak

Storm

Seattle Storm Sue Bird...
The Associated Press

Sun beats Seattle Storm in Sue Bird’s final game in Connecticut

Alyssa Thomas and the Connecticut Sun spoiled former UConn star Sue Bird's final game in the state, beating the Seattle Storm 88-83.
6 months ago
Seattle Storm...
The Associated Press

Diggins-Smith outshines Bird, Taurasi; Mercury beats Seattle Storm

Skylar Diggins-Smith scored a career-high 35 points and the Phoenix Mercury used a dominant fourth quarter to beat the Seattle Storm 94-78.
6 months ago
Seattle Storm...
The Associated Press

Breanna Stewart hit 4 3s, scores 25 to help Storm beat Fever 81-65

Breanna Stewart scored 25 points, Jewell Loyd and Tina Charles added 15 points apiece and the Seattle Storm beat Indiana 81-65.
7 months ago
Seattle Storm...
The Associated Press

Seattle Storm beat Wings 83-74 as Stewart scores 15 in 2nd half

Breanna Stewart scored 15 of her 19 points in the second half and Ezi Magbegor had 13 points to help the Seattle Storm beat the Dallas Wings 83-74 on Tuesday.
7 months ago
WNBA All-Star Game...
The Associated Press

Sue Bird honored, Kelsey Plum wins MVP in WNBA All-Star Game

Team Wilson pulled away from Team Stewart and its trio of Seattle Storm stars for a 134-112 victory in the WNBA All-Star Game on Sunday.
7 months ago
Seattle Storm Breanna Stewart...
The Associated Press

Breanna Stewart scores 23 points, Seattle Storm rout Sparks 106-69

Breanna Stewart scored 19 of her 23 points in the first half and the Seattle Storm routed the Los Angeles Sparks 106-69 on Thursday night.
7 months ago
Seattle Storm legend Sue Bird says 2022 is her final season