The Seattle Storm clinched the 2020 WNBA title on Tuesday night, blowing out the Las Vegas Aces in Game 3, 92-59, to complete an impressive three-game sweep. There were all sorts of history-making moments in the process, including the Storm tying the Houston Comets and Minnesota Lynx for the most titles in league history with four, and Breanna Stewart becoming the fifth player to win multiple Finals MVP Awards.
But perhaps the most impressive note of the night belongs to Sue Bird. The Storm's legendary point guard has been there for all four of Seattle's championships -- 2004, 2010, 2018 and 2020 -- and has now become the first player in WNBA history to win titles in three different decades. For comparison, only two NBA players have ever pulled off that feat: Tim Duncan and John Salley.
Bird missed all of last season due to a knee injury, and was limited to just 11 games in the regular season for the same reason. Come playoff time, though, she was healthy. And she saved her best for last. In Game 1, Bird set a new career high with 16 assists, which was also a WNBA playoff and Finals record. Across the three games against the Aces, she averaged 11 assists, tying Nikki Teasley for the highest assist average in Finals history. Furthermore, Bird's 9.2 assists per game for the entire playoffs was also the best postseason mark of her career.
Though she only scored 23 points in the series, Bird controlled all three games with her playmaking. It was an impressive performance in its own right, but made even more so given Bird is now in her 17th season, and had to battle through injuries to get to this point.
"It's been hard. I'm not gonna sugar coat it. It's been hard ... you start asking [yourself] if it's worth it," Bird said after the win. "It doesn't feel real we just won and that I was able to contribute the way I did. Something when it's all said and done that I'm incredibly proud of."
The rehab from injuries, the bubble, the condensed schedule, all of it was certainly worth it for Bird. So much so that at this point, she's looking forward to keeping her legendary career going.
"Interestingly enough it's never a day of decision. I just kind of start working out and see how I feel," Bird said. "I wish I could give you more. If the way I feel right now, if I go through my offseason and continue to build on that in a good way I don't see why I won't be playing next summer."
After the way she played this postseason, it is clear Bird still has the skills to compete at the highest level, but the biggest question will be if her body can hold up. If it does, and with all the talent around her in Seattle, she has a good chance to chase Rebekkah Brunson for the most rings in WNBA history with five.