The 2022 WNBA season will be Sue Bird’s last. On Thursday, the legendary point guard announced she will retire from playing at the end of the current campaign — her 21st in the league.
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
Bird will go down as one of the greatest women’s basketball players of all time, with five Olympic gold medals, four WNBA titles, two national championships, and five EuroLeague crowns. She played her entire 21-year career with the Seattle Storm — most of any player with a single team — and is the WNBA’s all-time assists leader with 3,114. Bird is the only player in league history to play at least 500 games.
A native of Syosset, New York, Bird came to UConn in 1998. She tore her ACL just eight games into her freshman year but returned to help the Huskies to their second national championship in 2000, earning All-Big East First Team and All-NCAA Tournament Team honors in addition to the Nancy Lieberman Award as the best point guard in the country along the way.
The next year, Bird hit the legendary “Bird at the Buzzer” shot to beat Notre Dame in the 2001 Big East Tournament final while also making the AP’s All-American Second Team and repeating as Lieberman Award winner.
As a senior, Bird starred on arguably the greatest UConn team ever as the Huskies went a perfect 39-0 en route to their third national title. She claimed the AP and USBWA’s National Player of the Year awards and also took home the Wade and Naismith Trophies. In the program record books, Bird ranks first in career 3-point percentage (45.9), career free throw percentage (89.2), and first in single-season assists (231 in 2001-02).
Following the conclusion of Bird’s college season, the Seattle Storm selected her with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 WNBA Draft. Over her two-plus decades with the team, she helped win the 2004, 2010, 2018, and 2022 WNBA titles.
Bird is also one of the most decorated Olympians of all time. Last summer in Tokyo, she was voted Team USA’s flag bearer by the other Olympians. Bird went on to become the first basketball player ever to win five gold medals alongside former UConn teammate Diana Taurasi.
There will never be another Sue Bird.