The Seattle Storm announced on Thursday that the organization will retire legendary point guard Sue Bird's jersey on June 11 ahead of their game against the Washington Mystics. Bird will be the second player in franchise history to have their number retired, joining Lauren Jackson.
Following the team's season-ending loss in Game 4 of their thrilling semifinal series against the Las Vegas Aces last season, Bird addressed the Seattle crowd for one last time as a player.
"It's sad," Bird said after the 97-92 loss. "Obviously so thankful for 20 years here. I'm gonna miss it so much. I'm not going anywhere, but I'm gonna miss it. I wish we could have done a little bit more to get to the Finals, but I'm so proud of this team, this year. I'm so, so, so, proud to be a member of the Seattle Storm. It has been my honor to play for this franchise, to play for these fans. I don't know what else to say."
Selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 WNBA Draft, Bird spent her entire career with the club, playing 19 seasons over 21 years. The franchise leader in games played, points, assists and steals, just to name a few, Bird has either scored or assisted on 27.5 percent of every basket ever made by the club.
, Bird played 580 games, racked up 6,803 career points, 3,234 assists, 1,001 made 3-pointers and 724 steals. She is the all-time leader in games played and assists, seventh all-time in scoring and second all-time in 3-point field goals. Her lead on the assist record is so large that the only active player within even 1,000 assists is Courtney Vandersloot, who is 847 behind.
Other accolades for Bird include, but are not limited to four championships (she is the only player to win titles in three different decades), 13 All-Star appearances (another record), eight All-WNBA appearances (tied for the sixth-most all-time) and spots on the 10th, 15th, 20th and the 25th anniversary teams.