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Sue Bird’s Legendary WNBA Career Comes to an End After Loss to the Las Vegas Aces 92-97

by Nina Samone
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By: Nina Samone

Thunderous chants of “Thank you, Sue!” filled the Climate Pledge Arena as Sue Bird, WNBA legend, walked off the court for the last time after Seattle fell 92-97 to the Las Vegas Aces last night.

The Storm fought valiantly – with a huge night of 42 points from Breanna Stewart and 29 from Jewell Loyd – but it wasn’t enough to stay afloat in Game 4 of their semifinal series.

Few could hold back tears, including Sue Bird herself who waved acknowledgement to the crowd several times before vanishing into the tunnel.

“I’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished here,” Bird said after the game, according to ESPN. “I know the tears don’t look like happy tears, but there’s a lot of happiness.”

As an athlete and WNBA player – Bird’s career has been historic and has been a defining point in WNBA history.

Bird was drafted No. 1 overall by the Seattle Storm back in 2002 and remained with Seattle for the duration of her WNBA career. The WNBA designated her as one of the 25 greatest players in WNBA league history last year.

Among her other accolades, Bird became the all-time leader in both assists (over 3,000) and career starts (549). She is the only player in the league to have appeared in over 500 career games.

Bird has also won four WNBA Championship titles, participated in 12 All-Star games and won five consecutive gold medals for the USA Olympic team.

“She’s going to be one of those Mt. Rushmore, Mt. Everest players who you look to whenever you think about the greatness of players,” journalist Bryant Howard told NPR earlier this year. “I mean, male, female – you can’t really top what she’s done.”

Bird joins the list of other phenomenal female athletes stepping down this year – including tennis player Serena Williams and track star Allyson Felix.

Sources:

Treisman, Rachel. September 7th, 2022. WBFO NPR. “Basketball icon Sue Bird plays her last game after two legendary decades in the WNBA.” <https://www.npr.org/2022/09/07/1121509799/sue-bird-retirement>

Pelton, Kevin. September 2022. ESPN. “Sue Bird retires a legend and future Hall of Famer, but the Seattle Storm point guard only made it look easy.” <https://www.espn.com/wnba/story/_/id/34534183/sue-bird-retires-legend-future-hall-famer-seattle-storm-point-guard-only-made-look-easy>

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