Paying tribute to Storm legend Sue Bird

Table of Contents

Icon. GOAT. Dancing Queen. Whatever you call her, Storm star Sue Bird is one of the greatest WNBA players ever — and has already solidified her status among Seattle’s most beloved athletes. And most beloved local Bird period. Sorry Blitz.

So, you might excuse us if we got a little choked up witnessing the heartfelt tributes to her at Sunday’s Storm game at Climate Pledge Arena. It was Bird’s last regular season home appearance, since she’ll be retiring after the postseason — and a franchise record 18,100 Stormy faithful showered her with love.

Every time Bird hoisted up a shot, the whole crowd roared. And though the Storm lost to the Las Vegas Aces, 89-81, the honoree of the day showed off some of her signature, slick moves — and nobody let the final score get them down.

From the adorable young fan giving her a flower to the chants of “Thank you, Sue” to all the GOAT gearnot to mention the portrait of Bird painted on the spot during halftime — Sunday afternoon was truly a memorable one. Mayor Bruce Harrell even declared Aug. 7 “Sue Bird Day.”

As we try to keep it together during Bird’s last title run before hangin’ up the jersey, let’s break down exactly why No. 10 rules.

High flyin’ numbers 🏀

Can you say greatest WNBA point guard in history? Just calling the shots like we see ‘em, because Bird is:

  • The league’s all-time assist leader at 3,100+
  • The only WNBA player to appear in 500+ games
  • Among the top 10 scores of all time with 6,700+ regular season points
  • Winner of four WNBA championships to go along with two college titles
  • A thirteen-time All-Star + five-time Olympic gold medalist

Leading off the court 🏀

Okay, you can take your jaw off the floor now. While all those stats are impressive, Bird’s passionate advocacy for social justice + labor disparities in women’s sports has made her a role model worldwide. Meanwhile, she and fiancee Megan Rapinoeanother local legend — continue to be champions for the LGBTQ+ community.

Hoopin’ she’ll stay 🏀

While Bird has East Coast roots — she’s thrown her heart in Seattle, too, supporting nonprofits that help area youth. And though she admitted to having growing pains when she first moved here 20 years ago, Bird is all about the local scene now, regularly hitting up her fave small businesses like Portage Bay Cafe, karaoke dive Ozzie’s, and lesbian bar Wildrose, which she name-checked in her postgame speech on Sunday.

What’s next? 🏀

Those strong local connections mean that Bird likely won’t fly the Seattle coop once her playing days are done. While she just became a minority investor in the NJ/NY Gotham FCa club in the National Women’s Soccer League — Bird recently told website The Athletic that she can’t “imagine” not having a place in Seattle with Rapinoe.

“This place is not only where I’ve played, it’s where I call home,” Bird said to Sunday’s capacity crowd. “It took me a minute to figure out who I was, but once I did, I was alright — and you guys allowed me to do that... I love you. Thank you so much, and I’ll see you in the playoffs.”

More from SEAtoday