NBA

Seattle Storm star Sue Bird joins Denver Nuggets front office

Nov 16, 2018, 3:40 PM | Updated: 3:52 pm
Sue Bird is a three-time WNBA Champion with the Seattle Storm. (AP)...
Sue Bird is a three-time WNBA Champion with the Seattle Storm. (AP)
(AP)

Seattle Storm star and three-time WNBA champion Sue Bird will join the Denver Nuggets’ front office, announced by the team’s president on Friday.

Sue Bird talks about seeing team’s rebuild through to 3rd title

Bird will assume the role of Basketball Operation Associate, a job she’ll hold during the WNBA offseason before returning the court for the 2019 season.

“We are very excited to have Sue join our organization,” Denver’s President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly said in a news release. “Her resume certainly speaks for itself and as a still active player she will offer an extremely unique perspective.”

“I’m really excited to join the Denver Nuggets organization. I’m thankful for the opportunity and look forward to learning from some of the best,” Bird added.

The praise for the move poured in not long after it was announced.

“I think it’s a win-win,” Storm head coach Dan Hughes told KIRO Radio’s Matt Pitman. “I think it’s one of those deals where it’s a great opportunity for Sue, but I also think that Denver is going to get a lot out of this too.”

Bird has carved out a legendary career for herself over the last 16 years for the Storm. In that time, she’s hoisted the championed trophy three times, while setting the record for most games played, most assists, and most All-Star Game selections.

That talent and dedication doesn’t just shine through in her own game, either.

“I think she’s great in personnel, but one of the real strengths of Sue Bird is the game of basketball,” said Hughes. “I think (the Nuggets will) find out, if there’s some way she can take an active part in the execution of the game from a front office standpoint, she’s going to be a home run.”

“She’ll have insight into strengths and weaknesses of system, of players, and she’ll bring that to the discussion with the personnel side,” he added.

Bird joins a recent movement in the NBA to bring in the league’s WNBA counterparts into the fold for a myriad of coaching and front office positions.

“It’s overdue,” Hughes mused. “But it’s really pleasing to a person like me who has looked for the world to get more like this, for the world to see a good coach as a good coach. We ought to embrace it, and applaud the opportunities that are happening right now.”

In 2014, former New York Liberty Star Becky Hammon joined the San Antonio Spurs, becoming the first female assistant coach in NBA history. Three years later, former Storm head coach Jenny Boucek was hired as an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings, before coming aboard with the Dallas Mavericks a year later.

Waiting for Bird in the world of NBA front offices, WNBA legend Tamika Catchings has her sights set on becoming the first female general manager the NBA has ever had. For now, she’s working as Pacers Sports and Entertainment’s Director of Player Programs and Franchise Development, helping recruit free agents to Indiana.

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