JTA – Sports fans are obsessed with legacy. The term goat — the greatest of all time — was brought up in more than just a baseball game during a little league practice. Whether it’s LeBron vs.
Sue Bird is part of those conversations.
The Jewish basketball star’s career came to an end, as Seattle Storm lost its playoff series to the Las Vegas Aces on Tuesday night. He is 41 years old Announced in June that she would retire after the season.
Finally, Bird is a two-time NCAA champion, four-time WNBA champion, five-time Olympic gold medalist and four-time FIBA World Champion. She is the all-time WNBA leader in assists, games played, minutes played, All-Star appearances and seasons played.
“I think I’m 21 would be surprised because I’m still going,” she said For The Seattle Times Last month. “Not because she didn’t think it was inside of me. She didn’t even have it Think these things. So I think she’d be really proud.”
Beard’s paternal grandparents were born in Syosset on Long Island, New York, were Jewish immigrants from what is now Ukraine, who changed their name from Borda on Ellis Island. She grew up celebrating Jewish and Christian holidays and did not have a bat mitzvah. But since she learned more about her Jewish heritage in the process of acquiring Israeli citizenship in 2006 – a move she called “basketball-motivated,” she could more easily compete on Russian teams during the WNBA offseason, given that European teams only allow a small number of American players on their roster – she felt more connected to her Jewish background, She told the Washington Jewish Museum.
“With my father being Jewish and still having relatives in Israel, communication was easy,” Baird said. “It was great, because what I found was that in this effort to find an opportunity in my football career, I was able to learn a lot about a culture that I might not have otherwise taken advantage of.”
Off the field, Bird became a businessman, activist, basketball CEO, analyst, and owner of a soccer team. You’ve accomplished so much that the only way to truly capture it is on a timeline. So we made one.
2000: After sustaining an ACL injury during her freshman year at the University of Connecticut, Bird embarked on an amazing three-year journey at UConn. During the 1999-2000 season, the team went 36-1 and won a national championship. Bird also won the inaugural Nancy Lieberman Award—named after WNBA Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman, also Jewish—given to the top point guard in the women’s division one college basketball.
2001: UConn will eventually lose to Notre Dame in this year’s National Championship game, but in a previous encounter between the two teams, during the Big East Championship Final, Bird hit a game-winning shot so much that it inspired an entire book called “Bird at the bell.”
2002: When UConn went undefeated (39-0) en route to another National Championship, Bird won Player of the Year in all Division One divisions, as well as several other awards (including the Nancy Lieberman Award, for the third consecutive season) . The Seattle Storm then selected Bird with the first overall pick in the 2002 WNBA Draft, and in her rookie season, Bird was an All-Star, named to the All-WNBA First Team and finishing second in the Rookie of the Year vote. She wasted no time in immersing herself in international competition as well, as she won her first World Championship with Team USA in China.
2003: Bird was an All-Star and named to his first All-WNBA team.
2004: Bird won her first Olympic gold at the Summer Olympics in Athens and led the Storm to her first WNBA franchise championship. She became one of 11 women to win an NCAA title, a WNBA championship, and an Olympic gold medal. She was named again in the All-WNBA First Team.
2005: Bird was an All-Star and named to his first All-WNBA team. She led the league in assists.
2006: Bird was an All-Star and named to the WNBA 10th Anniversary Team. She won the bronze medal in the Basketball World Championships in Brazil.
2007: Bird was an All-Star and won her first Euroleague and her first Russian League with Sparta & Key, based in Fednoy, Russia.
2008: Bird won her second Olympic gold medal in Beijing, her second Euroleague, and her second Russian National Championship. She was named to the second All-WNBA Team.
2009: Bird was an All-Star and once again led the WNBA in assists. She won her third consecutive EuroLeague and her first European Cup.
2010: Bird led the Storm to a second WNBA Championship, winning the Basketball World Championship for the second time in the Czech Republic, the Euroleague for the fourth consecutive time, and the second consecutive European Super Cup. Bird was named to the All-WNBA Second Team.
2011: Bird was an All-Star and was named to the WNBA 15th Anniversary Team and 2nd All-WNBA Team.
2012: Bird won her third Olympic gold medal in London and her third in the Russian League.
2013: Bird won her fourth Russian National League and fifth Euroleague championship with a new club, UMMC Ekaterinburg. She missed the WNBA season after undergoing knee surgery.
2014: Bird was an All-Star and won her third World Basketball Championship in Turkey and her fifth Russian National League Championship.
2015: The bird was an all-star.
2016: Bird enjoyed a career year after re-signing with Storm. She was named to her fifth All-WNBA First Team, led the league in assists for the third time, and was named to the WNBA 20th Anniversary Team. Bird also won her fourth Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro.
2017: Bird was named to her 10th All-Star game and became the all-time WNBA co-captain.
2018: Byrd led Storm to her third WNBA Championship and won her fourth World Basketball Championship in Spain. She was an All-Star, setting the record for the WNBA with her 11th pick. Bird also set the record for WNBA games played.
2020: Bird led Storm to a fourth WNBA Championship inside the league’s COVID bubble and became the only WNBA player to win championships in three different decades.
2021: Bird was an All-Star and named to the WNBA 25th Anniversary Team. She was also named the American Basketball Player of the Year. Bird won her fifth Olympic gold at the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Games, during which she served as the flag bearer for Team USA.
2022: Bird was an All-Star for the thirteenth time in her final season in the WNBA.