Sue Bird is regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of women’s basketball by many people. Now, the time period is concluding for the WNBA legend as Bird is officially parting way from the court after two decades.
I didn’t really want to leave the court: Sue Bird
On 6th September following the elimination of Seattle Storm from the WNBA playoffs, the basketball star announced her retirement from the league with her sneakers hung-up.
During a tough Game 4 in their semifinal series opposing the Las Vegas Aces, the Storm lost 97-92, which brought an ending to Bird’s historical career. At first, she stepped with her team off the court in Seattle, prior to changing course and going back.
As per the reports of ESPN, the 41-year-old Bird stated in her postgame press conference, “I didn’t really want to leave the court. It felt like that’s where everybody was going, so I just followed at first. But I also wanted to kind of have one last moment to say thank you, to soak it all in, because in some ways it is a happy thing.”
Bird did not speak much after the loss, she said she is still figuring out her feelings at the end of her career.
She said: “I think initially I felt sad about the season and the game. I then think, as the emotions started to come to the surface, that’s also what I know deep down in that, that was my last game. So it was a combination of those two things, but overall it just feels kind of weird.”
Bird and the Storm were in a thought hoping to conclude her final season with another WNBA title, which would have been her fifth, but could not overcome the Aces. Following the loss, the crowd of Seattle crowd shouted and cheered for Bird.
“I’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished here,” she said. “Of course I’m sad, but there’s happiness too, to be able to have a moment like that with the fans, to have them chant the way they did. I know the tears don’t look like happy tears, but there’s a lot of happiness.” [H/T PEOPLE]
Bird is a native of New York, initially, she made her name known at the University of Connecticut in 1998 at the time she entered as a student-athlete. Recovering from an ACL injury afterwards, she assisted to lead the Huskies to a 2000 championship and she was capped with her undefeated senior year with a 2002 championship.
Overall initial pick in the WNBA draft was Bird in the year 2002 and was selected by the Storm. In the league during her close to two decades, she became a four-time WNBA champion, the league’s all-time assist leader, a 12-time WNBA All-Star, a five-time All-WNBA First Team member and was recently named to the W25 greatest of all time.
Not only that outside the WNBA, but Bird also gathered a medley of international accolades, which included her fifth Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics beside fellow five-time gold medalist Taurasi. The basketball star is also a five-time EuroLeague Champion and two-time Europe SuperCup winner.
Off the court, in 2017 Bird came out as lesbian, sharing in the same ESPN article that she was in a relationship with soccer star Megan Rapinoe, following the meeting at the 2016 Rio Olympics she started dating. After four years the couple got engaged in October 2020.
Even though her basketball career has come to an end, Bird is persisting to be a pioneer.
She teamed up with fellow Olympians Chloe Kim, Simone Manuel and Alex Morgan to create TOGETHXR in March, a current media and commerce company which is focused on providing a platform for women and women’s sports.