SEATTLE – A little while ago, Sue Bird knew she made the right decision by publicly announcing what she knew inside – that this was her last season.
But what are the emotions that might come when she plays in her final game in Seattle? He doesn’t know what a bird looks like.
“I’m looking forward to it. Sure,” she said. “I know it’s going to be a very special day. Am I ready for it? I guess we’ll see. It will be more in all good ways. “
Bird will play its final regular season home game on Sunday when the Seattle Hurricanes host the Las Vegas Aces. The Hurricanes clinched a playoff spot, but with the WNBA’s new playoff format, there’s no guarantee the Hurricanes will clinch a home game in the first round.
Seattle is currently the No. 4 seed ahead of Washington with one week left in the regular season.
So if the Hurricanes don’t end up seeing their home floor again in the playoffs, Sunday is the day Bird will miss out on her impressive career. Members of Seattle’s former championship teams are expected to attend. There will be a pregame ceremony. And the largest crowd in Hurricanes history — more than 18,000 at Climate Promise Arena — is expected.
“What she’s been able to do in her career, on and off the court, is amazing, and I don’t think there will ever be anyone like her,” former Seattle teammate Lauren Jackson said this week. “I think the legacy that she has made on the sport and that she will leave on the sport is huge. But I’m excited to see what she does next.
Bird, 41, the oldest player in the WNBA, announced in June that this would be her final season before retiring. The decision was expected, especially after Bird proposed a retirement after last season, missing two seasons due to injury before returning to the court for his 19th time and 21st overall with Seattle.
She would end her career as one of the most decorated players of all time: four WNBA titles, five Olympic gold medals, countless WNBA records that will never be matched, and is recognized as one of the greatest women’s players of the Golden Generation. League.
“If you want to talk about the best generation (the league), it’s still very young, so we can revisit that conversation in 20, 30, 40, 50 years,” Bird said. But as it stands now, I feel very fortunate to have played in the generation I played in, and I think a large part of it will probably go down as the best and brightest.
Last year, when Seattle’s season ended at home in a loss to Phoenix, Storm fans chanted, “One more year!” they sang. His fervent plea echoed with the bird. She has mentioned that moment several times over the past year as part of her decision to return.
But a sign of how at peace Bird is with her decision, now that she hears the song, her main thought is, “Nice try. See you later,” she joked.
Another sign that Bird knew she had made the right decision came after she pressed the button to announce her decision. Immediately, the question of whether she would ever play again disappeared and an unknown weight hung over her.
This has allowed her to have more open and honest conversations with contestants, former teammates and fans, without having to dance around the awkwardness of her career’s final days.
“It was these other great products that I didn’t expect. Most of it comes in the form of people being able to share moments with me or memories with me. “Perhaps the most important thing is your peers,” Bird said. “Players on the other team would share things with me, whether it was a certain season or how I inspired them, how they looked at me, ‘How the WNBA wouldn’t be the same without you.’ I didn’t do it to get that. But that was great. And it really helps. It’s part of my own closure and it helps me move on when all is said and done.”