Sue Bird announces WNBA retirement after 2022 season


Bye, bye, Bird(ie).

WNBA legend Sue Bird announced her retirement on Thursday.

“I’ve decided this will be my final year,” Bird, 41, wrote on her social media channels. “I have loved every single minute, and still do, so gonna play my last year, just like this little girl played her first.”

The Syosset native was drafted No. 1 overall by the Seattle Storm in the 2022 WNBA draft. In 19 seasons, all with the Storm, Bird has averaged 11.9 points, 5.6 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game.

Bird, a 12-time All-Star, has won four WNBA titles and helped lead the U.S. women’s basketball team to five Olympic gold medals.

Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm reacts during the second half against the Los Angeles Sparks last month.
Getty Images

In February, Bird alluded to 2022 being her final season but told reporters in a press conference announcing her re-signing with the Storm that she didn’t want a farewell tour.

“I think it’s assumed to be my last and I do believe all arrows are pointing in that direction,” Bird said. “For some reason, I don’t necessarily want to operate in that space because I think for my personality … it doesn’t necessarily fit for every game I go into to be, ‘This is Sue’s last game in this city. This is her last time putting her shoe on.’ I don’t really operate in that space well, but I understand that comes with it.”

Bird had begun speculating about retirement at the end of the 2021 season when Seattle lost to the Phoenix Mercury in the second round of the playoffs. The home crowd serenaded her with “one more year” chants after the elimination, and she came through.

The Storm have 22 games left in the regular season and are second in the Western Conference at 9-5, three games back of the first-place Las Vegas Aces. Bird will presumably play her final New York game Sunday morning when the Storm take on the Liberty at Barclays Center.

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