A highlight on Sue Bird’s career and pending retirement decision

Legendary point guard for the Seattle Storm, Sue Bird, left fans guessing whether this will be her final season after a playoff loss against the Phoenix Mercury. While Bird states she is not sure if it would be her last game in the WNBA, she is not in any hurry to make that decision just yet

While saddening to think that Bird would finally leave the court, she has left a legacy that will be talked about for decades to come. 

Bird’s incredible career began at a young age, with her exceptional skills lighting up the women’s college basketball stage. As a two-time NCAA champion at UCONN in 2000 and 2002, her accomplishments led her to be selected first overall in the 2002 WNBA draft. Since her professional start in the early 2000s, Bird has established her unprecedented momentum on the court. She has broken titles and set records in the WNBA history books, a four-time WNBA champion, and a five-time EuroLeague champion. Additionally, Bird surpassed Tina Thompson in WNBA’s all-time career games started in 2017 and being all-time assists leader, passing Tina Penicheiro in 2017. 

Bird has won four Olympic gold medals on the international stage while a part of the United States Basketball Team. In addition, being one of the most notable Olympic veterans, Bird served as one of the flag bearers for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020

Bird’s legacy extends beyond the court, most recently one of 500 women urging the Supreme Court to strike down the Mississippi abortion law. Bird’s partner, National Women’s Soccer League captain Megan Rapinoe, has joined Bird and other female athletes and coaches in making headlines urging for the autonomy of a woman’s body. The women claim that the Mississippi 15-week abortion ban hinders the potential and ability women are yet to achieve if pregnancy is the only route for women. The case will be heard on Dec. 1 of this year as it continues to gain momentum from activists, athletes, Hollywood stars and politicians. 

Together, Bird and Rapinoe broke barriers by becoming the first same-sex couple to cover ESPN The Magazine “The Body Issue”, bringing visibility to the LGBTQ+ community within the sports industry. Both wanted to showcase the diversity and the world’s current climate and what sports look like, which could extend to the LGTBQ community. In addition, showcasing their bodies and sexuality empowered the women to become beacons to young athletes who may see themselves in Bird and Rapinoe. 

The 40-year-old basketball star has given it her all for the past 18 years on and off the court. However, if Bird does decide to retire, her talent will not be forgotten. Her powerful skill in the WNBA will endure through the years to come and will undoubtedly be revered as one of the greatest players in WNBA history. However, it is her perseverance off the court that showcases the strength and power of women.