January 19, 2023 

Seattle Storm to retire Sue Bird’s jersey in 2023

The Storm announced Thursday that they will be retiring Bird’s No. 10 jersey on June 11, 2023

Sue Bird may have retired just four months ago, but the most decorated player in Seattle sports history won’t have to wait long for another honor.

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The Storm announced Thursday that they will be retiring Bird’s No. 10 jersey on June 11, 2023, before their 3 p.m. game against the Washington Mystics. After helping to inaugurate Climate Pledge Arena last season, Bird will be the only Seattle player to wear No. 10 at the WNBA’s newest stadium. She joins three-time MVP Lauren Jackson (No. 15) as the only jerseys retired in franchise history.

A team release also stated that “other activities to honor Bird, along with giveaways and fan activities, will be announced closer to the event.” With Bird’s fiancée, soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe, re-signing with OL Reign earlier this month, Bird should be sticking around the Emerald City for at least 2023. (The Reign’s schedule has yet to be released, so Rapinoe’s attendance may be a question… but a conflict is unlikely.)

Bird is the definition of a “face of the franchise player.” She has played in over three-quarters of games in Storm history, is the W’s all-time assists leader, an eight-time All-WNBA selection and an icon for a generation of players. Her retirement tour last season was a monumental occasion for two cities.

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Bird is the primary throughline across WNBA history, having been drafted No. 1 overall in 2002 by Seattle with the franchise’s third-ever first-round pick. She came into the W when the league was still in its infancy, playing against numerous franchises that wouldn’t exist just a couple of years later, such as the Portland Fire and Cleveland Rockers. She led the Storm through no fewer than three different eras, winning two WNBA championships with Jackson, steadying the franchise as it secured back-to-back No. 1-overall picks in 2015 and 2016 and leading that new Big Three to two more titles.

Bird’s jersey retirement will take place before Seattle’s sixth home game of the regular season, on the back end of a two-game set against Washington. The Storm last played the Mystics in the first round of the 2022 playoffs, where Seattle swept the series to advance to the semifinals. Four years prior, Bird won her third ring in another sweep of Washington in the 2018 WNBA Finals.

Written by Em Adler

Em Adler (she/they) covers the WNBA at large and college basketball for The Next, with a focus on player development and the game behind the game.

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