Sue Bird re-signs with Storm for 2022 season

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 12: Guard Sue Bird #10 of the Seattle Storm handles the ball defended by guard Erica Wheeler #17 of the Los Angeles Sparks at Staples Center on September 12, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expr

Seattle Storm legend Sue Bird announced her intentions last month to return to the team for a 21st year. On Friday, the Storm made it official as they announced Bird has re-signed with the team for the 2022 campaign.

"Sue Bird is Storm Basketball," Storm general manager Talisa Rhea said in a statement. "It’s rare to have someone play their entire career for one team and Sue has done that for our city, our franchise and our fans.  To have Sue lead the franchise back home, to the city of Seattle, and Climate Pledge Arena is extremely special. Sue’s on-court accolades continue to cement her legacy as one of the best to ever play the game.  Off the court, Sue has established an everlasting impact worldwide as she continues to fight for equality, inspire future generations, and elevate those around her."

Bird, 41, is in the conversation of the best women's professional basketball players of all-time. She has played her entire WNBA career with the Storm since being drafted out of the University of Connecticut in 2002. She was named to the W25 team in 2021 as one of the greatest and most influential players in WNBA history. She's a four-time WNBA champion, a league-record 12-time WNBA all-star, a five-time first-team all-WNBA performer, and is the league's all-time leader in assists.

And that's just the WNBA.

Bird is also a five-time Russian National League champion and a five-time EuroLeague champion. She won two NCAA titles at UConn, and won the USBWA Women's National Player of the Year, AP College Player of the Year, and Naismith Award in 2002 as the best player in women's college basketball.

Bird has 3,048 career assists, which is 448 more than any other player in WNBA history. She is the only player to have played 500 career games (549) and ranks second all-time in career three-pointers (945), fourth in steals (687), and seventh in points (6,561).

"Sue is the best point guard to ever play our game and we are so excited to have her back for another season," Storm head coach Noelle Quinn said in a statement. "What she’s done for the organization and city of Seattle is nothing short of amazing. Her leadership, competitive spirit, and passion for the game shines through every time she steps foot on the court."

Bird received chants of "one more year!" from fans in attendance at the Storm's playoff loss to the Phoenix Mercury in the second round of the WNBA playoffs in September. Bird posted to her instagram account in January a video of that moment along with the caption, "OK, Let's gooooo" in announcing her intentions to return for another season.

The Storm open their season on Friday, May 6 against the Minnesota Lynx at Climate Pledge Arena. They are returning to their home at Seattle Center after playing at the University of Washington and Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett during the venue's renovation the last three years. They also played the 2020 season in the WNBA "bubble" in Bradenton, Fla. amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bird will play her 19th season for the Storm. She missed the 2013 and 2019 seasons due to injury.

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