There aren’t many basketball players who have put together careers like Sue Bird, and 2022 might be the final year of her Hall of Fame career.
On Tuesday, Bird spoke with media, including the Associated Press’ Tim Booth, about 2022 likely being her last year in the WNBA.
“I think it’s assumed to be my last and I do believe all arrows are pointing in that direction,” Bird said . “For some reason, I don’t necessarily want to operate in that space because I think for my personality … it doesn’t necessarily fit for every game I go into to be, ‘This is Sue’s last game in this city. This is her last time putting her shoe on.’ I don’t really operate in that space well, but I understand that comes with it.”
Bird is entering her 19th season in the WNBA, 21st if you include her two seasons missed due to injury, all of which have been played with the Seattle Storm. She has racked up an incredible number of accolades during her career, earning 12 All-Star teams selections and was named to five All-WNBA first teams. She’s also won five Olympic gold medals and four WNBA Championships.
Through 549 career games, Bird has averaged 12.0 points, 5.6 assists, and 2.6 rebounds per game and led the WNBA in assists in three separate seasons. Last year at the age of 41, Bird still put up incredible numbers, averaging 10.0 points and 5.3 assists per game en route to her 12th All-Star appearance.
Regardless of what happens in Bird’s potentially final season, she will retire as the WNBA’s all-time assists leader, an accolade she currently holds with 3,048 career assists, over 400 more than the second-place Ticha Penicheiro. Bird is also sixth in the WNBA’s all-time scoring list with 6,490 career points.
There are still a few months before the WNBA season begins, where Bird will begin her quest for a fifth WNBA championship. The season for the Storm kicks off on May 6, 2022, with a matchup against the Minnesota Lynx.