Measuring greatness: A look back at Sue Bird's 17-year career with the Storm
Measuring greatness
A look back at Sue Bird's 18-year career with the Storm
Published June 16, 2022

Sue Bird has already cemented her legacy as one of the greatest WNBA players of all time, along with her status as a Seattle sports icon. The accolades are staggering -- 18 seasons, 12 All-Star selections, four-time WNBA champion, five-time Olympic gold medalist, two-time NCAA champion. She holds the WNBA assists record (and it’s not close), and has played in more games than anyone. She’s top five all time in career steals and ranks No. 7 in total points.

On Thursday, Bird announced on Twitter that the 2022 season will be her last – ending an unprecedented run of greatness that has vaulted her to legendary status. While Bird’s career had to end at some point, her longevity in the league made it seem like she might never retire.

As No. 10 enters the final stretch of her career, we took a deep look back at her career journey with the Storm and how she climbed to the peak she’s standing on today.

All-Star selections
Gold medals
WNBA titles
"One more year"?

After the Storm’s playoff loss to Phoenix in 2021, the sports world wondered collectively: “Is it over?” An emotional Sue Bird tried to muster a comment during a postgame interview with ESPN’s Holly Rowe as fans showered her with a thunderous “ONE MORE YEAR” chant. We’d learn later that chant swayed the WNBA legend to return for another season – putting off retirement for at least one more year. While Bird hasn’t said it will in fact be her last in the league, it might take even more convincing for Bird to do the same after 2022. For now, fans will enjoy the heck out of one more year – and know they had a part in making it happen.

Credit: Illustration by Alessandro Pautasso for The Seattle Times

In her 18 seasons, Sue Bird sits at or near the top of the rankings in assists, points, steals, three-pointers and games. Here’s where she stands among the all time WNBA leaders.

Sue Bird's place in WNBA history
Rank Points Name
1 9,174 Diana Taurasi
2 7,488 Tina Thompson
3 7,380 Tamika Catchings
4 6,895 Candice Dupree
5 6,811 Cappie Pondexter
6 6,613 Tina Charles
7 6,561 Sue Bird
8 6,452 Katie Smith
9 6,263 Lisa Leslie
10 6,005 Lauren Jackson
Rank Assists Name
1 3,048 Sue Bird
2 2,599 Ticha Penicheiro
3 2,345 Lindsay Whalen
4 2,180 Courtney Vandersloot
5 2,032 Diana Taurasi
Rank 3-point scores Name
1 1,205 Diana Taurasi
2 945 Sue Bird
3 906 Katie Smith
4 829 Becky Hammon
5 748 Tina Thompson
Games played
Rank Games Name
1 549 Sue Bird
2 499 DeLisha Milton-Jones
3 496 Tina Thompson
4 495 Candice Dupree
5 482 Katie Smith
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