April 25, 2024 

Seattle Storm legend Sue Bird joins team’s ownership group

Bird: 'I am thrilled to continue contributing to the growth of the game'

On Wednesday, the Seattle Storm announced that longtime point guard and four-time WNBA champion Sue Bird had joined the team’s ownership group, Force 10 Hoops.

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“We are thrilled to welcome Sue into the ownership group after a storied career on the court,” Storm co-owner Lisa Brummel said in a press release. “Her knowledge of the game and the league, her ever-expanding business acumen, and her dedication to the Storm organization, make her a superb addition.”

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Considered one of the best point guards in WNBA history, Bird spent 19 seasons with Seattle and led the franchise to four WNBA championships and the league’s first-ever Commissioner’s Cup championship in 2021. She was a 13-time All-Star, made five All-WNBA First Teams and three All-WNBA Second Teams, and was named to all four of the WNBA’s anniversary teams (2006, 2011, 2016 and 2021) She is the WNBA’s all-time assists leader with 3,234 and led the league in assists per game three times.

Bird also had a long career for Team USA, winning five Olympic gold medals and four FIBA World Cup gold medals. She and USA teammate Diana Taurasi became the only basketball players of either gender to win five gold medals in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“As a player, I poured my heart into every game for the Seattle Storm, and now, as part of the ownership group, I am thrilled to continue contributing to the growth of the game,” Bird said in the press release.

“Investing in women’s sports isn’t just about passion; it’s smart business. It’s about recognizing the immense talent, dedication, and market potential our league has always had. Force 10 Hoops and the Storm have been at the forefront of this for decades. Together, we’re not just shaping the future of basketball, but also paving the way for a more equitable and inclusive society.”

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Bird retired from the league after the 2022 season, and the Storm retired her jersey number in June 2023.

Since her retirement, Bird has been active in the media. She has appeared on several podcast episodes; led an alternate broadcast of the Women’s Final Four with Taurasi known as “The Bird & Taurasi Show”; and has her own show on ESPN+, known as “Sue’s Places.” She is also a co-founder of Togethxr, a media platform founded by female athletes.

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The Storm finished 11-29 in 2023 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2015. However, they made several moves in the offseason to help them be competitive in 2024 and beyond.

In free agency, the Storm signed former WNBA MVP Nneka Ogwumike and six-time All-Star guard Skylar Diggins-Smith. They will star alongside guard Jewell Loyd, the WNBA’s leading scorer last season at 24.7 points per game.

On April 18, the Storm also unveiled a new $64 million practice facility, the Center for Basketball Performance. It will open for the team’s first day of training camp on Sunday.

“The opening of the Center for Basketball Performance is more than a testament to the Force 10 ownership’s commitment to our Storm athletes and our entire staff, it is a commitment to use professional sports as a platform for positive impact,” Storm president and CEO Alisha Valavanis said in the press release. “This will be home to ‘Jr. Storm,’ a comprehensive youth basketball program including our free community camps and clinics made possible through corporate partners.”

Stathead Stat of the Week

Last year, A’ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart broke the record for most win shares in a WNBA season, with 10.4 and 10.3, respectively.

In addition, they became the second and third players ever to have a season with at least six offensive win shares and three defensive win shares. Do you know the other player to do it? You can see the answer in Stathead! 

Stathead is your all-access pass to the Basketball and College Basketball Reference databases. Our discovery tools are built for women’s basketball fans like you. Answer your questions in a matter of seconds.

Written by Aya Abdeen

Aya Abdeen is a student in sports journalism at Arizona State University and has been a contributing writer for The Next since December 2022. She is also a sports reporter for the Sun Devils’ women’s basketball team for The State Press. Her work has also appeared on AZPreps365.

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