Back in 2004, Sue Bird won her first pro women’s basketball title, and with the Seattle Storm’s WNBA championship win, she became the only WNBA player to claim titles in three different decades so far. With Seatlle, Bird has now racked up four championship victories. As a point guard, she turns 40 this month, making her the third player in American pro basketball history to ever win championships in three different decades John Salley was the first, then Tim Duncan from the NBA). What’s more, Bird also became the second-oldest player to win a WNBA title. “Not many people can say that they did it in different decades, with the same franchise,” Bird said. “To re-create it over time and stay at a high level over time is something I’m especially proud of because it hasn’t been easy.”
Bird has suffered knee issues throughout her career and missed out on the 2019 season due to surgery. ESPN reports then that she sustained a bone bruise to that same knee the year and played limited regular-season games. “I think the most difficult part about being an older player is when there’s that down physically, you start to question your abilities,” she said, adding that she believes she can still make a significant impact in the sport. Seattle coach, Gary Kloppenburg, describes Bird’s talent with wild reviews. “She’s just an orchestrator,” he commended after the team’s 2020 championship win. “She’s like a maestro out there finding open people and directing traffic.” Bird already set a WNBA finals record with 16 assists in the first game of the championship series.
Bird’s basketball career has been highlighted by two NCAA championship titles and four Olympic gold medals as well. She is a real basketball icon, and, ahead, check out photos from her most recent and very first championship victories.