Sue Bird

Seattle Storm Star Sue Bird Returning for 19th WNBA Season

Ned Dishman | National Basketball Association | Getty Images

Sue Bird is officially back.

The four-time WNBA champion is returning to the Seattle Storm for her 19th season in the WNBA, she announced on Instagram.

The 2022 season will be Bird's 21st overall with the franchise, but she missed the 2014 and 2019 seasons due to injury.

Bird was clearly uncertain if she would return after Seattle's second-round loss in the playoffs to the Phoenix Mercury, but the 41-year-old star confirmed she would be putting off retirement for at least one more year. 

After the 85-80 loss, Bird swapped jerseys with longtime friend Diana Taurasi at midcourt as the Angel of Arena fans chanted “one more year,” and she gave the fans what they asked for.

Bird has spent her entire WNBA career with the Storm after being the No. 1 pick of the 2002 WNBA draft. She won four WNBA championships and is a 12-time All Star.

During her 2021 season with Seattle she averaged 10 points, 5.3 assists and 2.6 rebounds while shooting 43.1% from the field and 41.9% from 3-point territory. 

She recently captured her fifth Olympic gold medal with the U.S. women’s national team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and was also one of the oldest U.S athletes to compete. The four-time Olympic medalist was also honored with being the flag bearer for the United States in the Tokyo Olympic Ceremony. 

Bird is an unrestricted free agent and her return begins to expand the 2022 roster for the Storm, which only has five players under contract. Other Seattle players who are also unrestricted free agents include All-Stars Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd. 

WNBA teams cannot negotiate with unrestricted free agents until the period officially opens on Jan. 15. Players can then sign on Feb. 1. 

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