WNBA legend Sue Bird has announced his retirement

Seattle Storm Sue Bird

Seattle Storm Sue Bird # 10 during the first quarter against the Washington Mystics at the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Washington on September 07, 2021. Steff Chambers / Getty Images / AFP

WNBA legend Sue Bird said Thursday that he will retire from basketball at the end of the 2022 season, signing after a career with five Olympic gold medals and four domestic championships.

“I have decided that this will be my last year,” Bird posted on social media.

“I love every minute, and still do, so I’ll play my last year, just like this little girl played first,” Bird added, with a picture of her playing basketball as a girl.

Bird, 41, is widely regarded as one of the best players in WNBA history.

He was a member of U.S. teams that won Olympic gold at the 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016 and last year’s epidemic-delayed Tokyo Games.

He also won the WNBA Championship with Seattle Storm in 2004, 2010, 2018 and 2020, where he spent his entire professional career since being selected with the top pick in the 2002 draft.

In a video posted on social media by Seattle, Bird says he decided to confirm his retirement to be able to say goodbye to family with friends during Sunday’s road game against New York Liberty. The birds have grown up in the New York area.

“Of course when I enter this season I try to be as honest as possible about where I was. I knew it was going to be my last season but I wanted to be sure about it, “Bird said.

“As the season went on, as I said, I knew fairly well, and then once I looked at the schedule, and then once I started packing a little for this trip, I thought, ‘Oh, this will be my last game in New York. Last game in front of family and friends. And so this time it’s what it is.

“I really felt strongly about announcing my retirement, saying it was my last year so I can share it with my family and my friends, all the people in New York who have seen me grow up so they can come and watch me play. Last time in the kingdom.

“So I’m excited about it. It’s too sweet. “

As well as winning his WNBA title and Olympic gold medal, Bird will leave the game with a clutch of statistical records.

His 19 seasons in the WNBA are the most by any player in league history. He has been selected in a record 12 WNBA All-Star games and has been honored with eight All-WNBA selections.

He is the all-time assistant leader of the WNBA with 3,114 – more than 500 assists than his nearest rival – and is the only player to have played more than 500 league games.

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