Sue Bird Reigns As Seattle’s GOAT


The Seattle Storm has had its share of great players. From Lauren Jackson to Swin Cash, the Storm’s history includes multiple Hall of Famers. Most notable, however, is Sue Bird. Bird has been with the Storm for 21 seasons and played in 19 of them. In what could be her final season, she seeks a fifth championship to solidify an already storied career. But, like all good stories, hers starts at the beginning.

Bird Soars At UCONN

Bird attended the University of Connecticut from 1998 to 2002. She went 114-4 through four seasons at UCONN in games she played. She started her college career off with a torn ACL eight games into her freshman season, then led UCONN to 36 wins and one loss to Tennessee in her sophomore season.

This would be one of two championships with fellow college teammates and current Mercury guard Diana Taurasi. In her junior season, the Huskies went 32-3 and lost to Notre Dame in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament. Bird played in the best women’s basketball game ever played, where she made a buzzer-beater to beat Notre Dame in the Big East title game.

She led UCONN to a 39-0 record, won her second national championship in her senior season, and earned multiple individual awards, including the Naismith Award and the Wade trophy.

Bird Takes The WNBA By Storm

Seattle picked Bird with the first overall pick in the 2002 WNBA draft. She made All-WNBA First team in her first year with teammate Lauren Jackson, who was drafted the year before her. Bird finished second in rookie of the year voting with eight votes losing to Tamika Catchings who received 48 votes and averaged 14.4 points and six assists per game in her rookie season.

Bird won her first of four WNBA titles in 2004 defeating the Connecticut Sun in a three to one series. She averaged 8.5 points and 5.3 assists in eight playoff games. In 2010 Bird won her second championship beating the Atlanta Dream in a three to zero sweep. She averaged 12.1 points and 7.7 assists in the playoffs on her way to her second title with the Storm. This would be the last championship she won with Jackson, as Jackson retired due to injury in 2016.

Bird and Seattle then welcomed Breanna Stewart, who fit into the “Jackson role” in pursuit of championships in 2018 and 2020. She also won the 2021 Commissioner’s Cup finishing that game with 10 points and five assists. Bird’s success not only caught the USA’s attention, but her success in the Olympics caught the attention of the world.

Bird Soars To Olympic History

Bird is a part of remarkable US Olympic success. She and Taurasi are the first players in Olympic basketball history to win five gold medals. After winning the 2020 gold medal, she ended her Olympic career with 38 wins and zero losses. Bird finished top five in all-time assists in Olympic women’s basketball history with 122 and had a game-high of 13 assists against Nigeria in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

One More Year

In her 19-year career, Bird has impacted the game known through her passing ability and by making her teammates better. She has also captured the hearts of Storm fans everywhere and doesn’t take winning for granted no matter how many times she succeeds.

In the last game of the 2021 season, the fans at Angel Of The Winds area chanted “One More Year” knowing it could be Bird’s final game. She chose to return because of this moment, saying in her press conference, “If that chant hadn’t happened, I don’t think that I’d be sitting here.”

Many athletes walk away from the game they love after winning a championship, winning their last game, or losing their last contest. With Bird, Stewart, Jewell Loyd, and Mercedes Russell back the Storm has built a contender over the off-season. They have the opportunity to cap Sue Bird‘s career off in the best way possible by winning a championship.

Bird Stats Courtesy Basketball Reference

About Brenden Potts

Brenden is an American writer and Washington State University Sport Management student in Pullman Washington. He has less than a year of writing experience getting started with The Lead. He writes about the Seattle Storm for The Lead.

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