STORRS, CT — When it comes to Geno Auriemma, Sue Bird has been one of a kind.
Auriemma, Bird’s coach at the University of Connecticut, reflected Thursday on the Seattle Storm point guard’s decision and Bird’s announcement of the WNBA legend earlier in the day than this season – his 21st in the league – would be her last as a WNBA player. .
“Obviously everyone knew that day would come sooner rather than later,” Auriemma said. “Sue had been on the verge of making this decision for the past two years and she felt it was the best time for her to step away from the game.”
Announcing Bird’s decision, Storm officials called her “one of the most decorated professional basketball players in history.” Bird has spent his entire 21-year career with the Storm — the most of any player in WNBA history.
She has been honored on each of the WNBA’s Greatest Teams, including All-Decade Team (2006), Top 15 Players (2011), Top [email protected] (2016) and was named to the W25 Team in 2021 as one of the 25 largest. and the most influential players in league history.
Additionally, Bird has won a record five Olympic gold medals to go along with four WNBA championships, two NCAA championships and five EuroLeague titles.
Bird is the WNBA’s all-time assists leader, registering her 3,000th career assist on July 9, 2021 at Phoenix, and has 3,114 career assists, 514 more than any other player.
She is the only player to have appeared in at least 500 games, starting in each of her 559 career games. Additionally, Bird ranks second in career three-pointers (965), fourth in steals (700), and seventh in points (6,639).
She won national titles at UConn in 2000 and 2002.
“There’s definitely nothing that Sue hasn’t left out or (needs) to prove,” Auriemma said. “There’s going to be a lot of stories written and comparisons made about her and everything she’s done. It’s really not an exaggeration to say…I don’t think in our life watching basketball…that we have seen someone play that position at a higher level and for a longer period of time than Sue.”
Auriemma continued, “There’s a lot that’s been achieved and people will say, ‘This record will never be broken.’ The things that Sue has done, the accomplishments that she has earned – I feel pretty good that this will never happen again. And if it does? Well, I wouldn’t bet on that.