12-Time WNBA All-Star Sue Bird Announces She's Returning to Storm Next Season

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 7, 2022

Seattle Storm's Sue Bird dribbles upcourt against the Phoenix Mercury in the first half of the second round of the WNBA basketball playoffs Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Everett, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Sue Bird isn't ready for retirement yet.

The 12-time WNBA All-Star announced she plans to return for her 19th season with the Seattle Storm in an Instagram post Friday.

The Storm posted a tweet welcoming Bird back, but it was later deleted. While it is a virtual certainty that Bird will stay in Seattle, her WNBA home since being drafted in 2002, she cannot technically re-sign until the free-agency period begins next Saturday.

Bird thought about retirement after the Storm were eliminated in the second round of the 2021 WNBA playoffs. She said it was the first time she seriously contemplated leaving the game. 

"I've been really trying to push away those thoughts," Bird told reporters in September. "The minute I even let myself think about it, it makes me want to cry. This is the first offseason where I feel like I need to weigh it. Usually, I'm like, 'Nope, one more year if I feel good, I'll be there.'

"This is the first time where I'm really going to have to sit back, see how I feel, weigh some things."

Bird later said she was tempted to come back for at least one more year to get a chance to play in Seattle's redeveloped Climate Pledge Arena. She didn't miss a step during the 2021 campaign, averaging 10.0 points and 5.3 assists while making another All-Star appearance.