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Basketball legend Sue Bird said Thursday this will be her final season in the WNBA.
The longtime Seattle Storm superstar revealed on Twitter she will be pursuing a WNBA championship for the final time and will walk away from the court once the season is over.
“I’ve decided this will be my final year. I have loved every single minute, and still do, so gonna play my last year, just like this little girl played her first,” Bird tweeted.
The Storm made Bird the No. 1 overall pick of the 2002 WNBA Draft and by her third season she and Lauren Jackson led the team to their first championship. Bird would win three more after that with her last one coming in the coronavirus pandemic-impacted 2020 season.
“As the season has gone, like I said, I pretty much knew, and then once I saw the schedule, and then once I started packing for this trip a little bit, I was like, ‘Oh, this is gonna be my last time playing in New York. My last time playing in front of my family and friends.’ And so that’s why the timing of this is what it is,” she added in a video posted to the Storm’s social media account.
“I just really felt strongly about announcing my retirement, saying it was my last year so I can share that with my family and my friends, all the people in New York who have watched me growing up so they can come and see me play for the last time in my home state. So I’m excited about that. It’s also bittersweet.”
Bird has played in 10 games for Seattle this season and is averaging 7.8 points and 6.6 assists per game.
Through her career, she has averaged 11.9 points, 5.6 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game. She’s shooting 42.9% from the floor for her career and shoots 39.2% from three-point range.
She is a 12-time WNBA All-Star and a five-time All-WNBA First-Team selection.
Outside the pro league, Bird is a five-time Olympic gold medalist and held the team to four gold medals in the World Championships and a bronze.
While at UConn, Bird was the 2002 College Player of the Year and won the Naismith Award. She and the Huskies won the NCAA championship in 2000 and 2002.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.