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Final homecoming for Sue Bird as Storm visit Liberty

Sportsnaut
Sep 24, 2020; Bradenton, Florida, USA; Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird (10) celebrates with teammates after winning Game 2 of the WNBA semi-finals against the Minnesota Lynx at Feld Entertainment. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

Before her legendary career on the courts at UConn and in the WNBA, Sue Bird was a high school star at New York City powerhouse Christ the King.

Three days after announcing she is retiring after her 19th season, Bird makes her final appearance in New York on Sunday afternoon when the Seattle Storm visit the New York Liberty.

Bird, 41, is the league’s all-time leader in games played (560), assists (3,118), minutes played (17,559) and All-Star selections (12) since Seattle drafted the guard first overall in 2002. She also helped Seattle win titles in 2004, 2010, 2018 and 2020 and heads to New York averaging 8.4 points and 6.4 helpers this year.

Seattle (9-6) posted a pair of home wins against New York earlier this season. The Storm dropped to 3-1 on a five-game road trip with Friday’s 82-71 loss to the Connecticut Sun when Breanna Stewart scored 19 points and Bird added 14.

“Obviously, going to New York is going to be special for Sue,” Seattle coach Noelle Quinn said. “That provides us with another level of urgency and emotion just to know that we have a big game against a good opponent on the road again.”

New York (6-9) heads into its final encounter against Bird playing better since its back-to-back losses in Seattle on May 27 and 29. Its 92-61 loss on May 29 was the final game of a seven-game skid and since then the Liberty are 5-2 in their past seven contests.

On Thursday, the Liberty bounced back from allowing a game-winning 3-pointer to Chicago’s Courtney Vandersloot in an 88-86 loss last Sunday. Natasha Howard scored 27 points in a 77-65 win over the visiting Washington Mystics.

Howard, who won two titles with Bird in Seattle, helped New York outscore Washington 44-24 in the paint by making 13 of 17 shots. She is looking forward to facing Bird.

“I’m really grateful and honored that I had a leader and a great teammate and a legend that I actually played with,” Howard said.

–Field Level Media