WNBA legend Sue Bird announces retirement
WNBA legend Sue Bird said Thursday she will retire from basketball at the end of the 2022 season, signing off after a career that included five Olympic gold medals and four domestic championships.
“I’ve decided this will be my final year,” Bird posted on social media.
“I have loved every single minute, and still do, so gonna play my last year, just like this little girl played her first,” Bird added, alongside a photo of her playing basketball as a girl.
Bird, 41, is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in WNBA history.
I’ve decided this will be my final year. I have loved every single minute, and still do, so gonna play my last year, just like this little girl played her first ☺️ #TheFinalYear @seattlestorm pic.twitter.com/Uo2YqCCKUD
— Sue Bird (@S10Bird) June 16, 2022
She was a member of the US teams that won Olympic gold in 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016 and at last year’s pandemic-delayed Tokyo Games.
She also won WNBA championships in 2004, 2010, 2018 and 2020 with the Seattle Storm, where she has spent her entire professional career since being chosen with the top pick in the 2002 draft.
In a video posted by Seattle on social media, Bird said she had decided to confirm her retirement in order to be able to bid farewell to family in friends during Sunday’s road game against the New York Liberty. Bird grew up in the New York area.
— Seattle Storm (@seattlestorm) June 16, 2022
“Obviously when I entered this season I tried to be as honest as possible about where I was. I kind of knew this was going to be my last season but I wanted to be sure about it,” Bird said.
“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.
“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.”
As well as her WNBA titles and Olympic gold medal hauls, Bird will exit the sport with a clutch of statistical records.
Her 19 seasons in the WNBA are the most by any player in league history. She has been chosen in a record 12 WNBA all-star games, and has also been honored with eight All-WNBA selections.
She is the WNBA’s all-time assist leader with 3,114 — more than 500 assists than her nearest rival — and is the only player to have played in more than 500 league games.