Over the past 18 seasons, Sue Bird has cemented her legacy as one of the best professional athletes to play in Seattle.
With three rings already in her trophy case to date, the question becomes: Is Bird the most accomplished athletes to play in Seattle?
I recently spoke with another Seattle legend, Jamal Crawford, and asked him that exact question.
“She has got to be up there,” Crawford told Heavy. “I think if there is to be a top-shelf of athletes to ever play in Seattle professionally, she is on it.” He continued, “You have to consider she has three championships and just everything she has done for the game, and then you go back to Gary Payton and [Shawn] Kemp, and obviously now Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman, and all those guys. She has to be considered top-shelf for sure.”
Crawford is a 19-year NBA veteran after spending three years at the University of Michigan. Following his junior year in Michigan, he decided to declare for the NBA draft. Crawford went on to be drafted 8th in the 2000 draft by the Chicago Bulls. Throughout his career, Crawford won three Sixth Man of the Year awards and is currently 8th on the all-time three-point list. He also averaged 14.6 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game.
Bird over the past 18 seasons has averaged 12.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game and has received 11 All-Star selections. She is also the all-time leader in assists and a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer five years after she decides to retire.
All of those statistics do not include her overseas accomplishments of winning five Russian National League championships and five Euro Championships. In college at the University of Connecticut, she won two National Championships under coach Geno Auriemma and four Olympic gold medals.
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Bird and Breanna Stewart Missed 2019-20 Season Due to Injuries
Bird has won three championships in the past 18 seasons, with her latest coming in 2018 alongside Finals MVP Breanna Stewart. Both players missed last season due to injuries and were unable to defend their championship. Stewart suffered an Achilles injury while playing overseas, according to Sports Illustrated. Bird missed the season after having arthroscopic surgery on her left knee.
“While it has been difficult not to be on the court with my teammates, I am very proud of what they have accomplished this season,” Bird said in a statement. “I look forward to suiting up for the Storm in 2020.”
Bird was a guest on the NBA’s Instagram Live with ESPN’s Ryan Ruocco last Wednesday, discussing a variety of different topics. During the interview, Bird shared that she and Stewart looked forward to the chance to defend their throne this season, if it happens. Sadly the two might not get that chance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Last year Stewie and I were out with injuries, so no disrespect to Washington [Mystics], but we are hoping to get the chance to defend our championship this season,” said Bird.