She might be the GOAT, but she’s looking for new pastures.
Sue Bird will retire at the end of the season, the WNBA superstar confirmed Thursday.
“I’ve decided this will be my final year,” the 41-year-old Seattle Storm guard tweeted alongside a photo of her playing basketball as a kid. “I have loved every single minute, and still do, so gonna play my last year, just like this little girl played her first.”
Before the season, Bird had said this was likely her final year, but that she didn’t want to commit to anything 100%.
“I do believe all arrows are pointing in that direction,” Bird said in February. “For some reason, I don’t necessarily want to operate in that space.”
But the Syosset native realized before her final road trip to New York that she wanted to give her friends, family and hometown a heads up. The Storm play the Sun in Connecticut on Friday before traveling to Barclays Center to play the Liberty on Sunday.
“That’s why the timing of this is what it is,” Bird said in a video shared by the Storm. “I just really felt strongly about announcing my retirement, saying it was my last year, so I could share that with my family, my friends, all the people in New York who watched me growing up, so they could come and see my play for the last time in my home state.”
Bird is one of the greatest and most decorated players in any sport. She won five Olympic gold medals, four WNBA championships and two collegiate national titles at UConn. She’s been a WNBA all-star 12 times, a first-team all-WNBA selection five times and is the league’s all-time leader in assists and games played.
“Not a lot of people do something for their entire lives, the way athletes do,” Bird said Thursday at a press conference. “I’ve been doing this since I was 5 or 6 years old. It’s really all I know. So of course I’m sad.”
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