An icon tells us she’s coming back to Seattle
On Monday, February 10, players can officially re-sign with WNBA teams. The past two weeks, they have had the chance to take meetings and plot future moves.
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Sue Bird was in New York last week, before heading to Serbia. But she isn’t going anywhere, not even meeting with the Liberty.
No, Sue Bird told High Post Hoops that she’s staying in what has become home for her, returning to the Seattle Storm.
“No, obviously where I am now, it makes zero sense for so many reasons,” Bird said of leaving. “The main one being: I don’t want to.”
Bird missed the 2019 season, but the greatest point guard in league history by virtually any measure would have been highly sought after on the market, had she decided to test it.
In fact, her longtime friend, Diana Taurasi, made her an offer on behalf of the Mercury.
“I did reach out to her and I offered her a contract and she rejected me,” Taurasi told High Post Hoops last week with her signature sarcasm. “So the hell with Sue Bird. I did. I offered her a four-year, max deal guaranteed and she turned me down.”
Taurasi’s anger is distinctly of the mock variety, though Breanna Stewart, who plans to be Bird’s teammate in Seattle for as long as Bird cares to play, added with a smile: “We have things in Seattle she likes besides basketball,” referring to Bird’s romantic partner, Megan Rapinoe of Reign FC in nearby Tacoma.
Joking aside, the new CBA and the flexibility it provides is something that’s been on all of their minds, with Bird, Taurasi and Stewart discussing it at dinner last week.
“I think it is interesting the way this all unfolded with how salary has changed, how the salary structure has changed, how the different marketing opportunities have now presented themselves,” Bird said. “It would be interesting to see how much money would motivate. So, everyone’s going to have a scale, right? And on one side of the scale will be whatever’s important to them, on another side of scale are some other things, and you got to see what tips it. I guess what I’m trying to say is if I had to actually start over, it’s that money has really never been the motivator in the WNBA.”
Bird said she plans to speak to anyone who wishes about how and why Seattle ought to be their destination. Stewart planned to be more of a recruiter by example. But Bird, with half a lifetime of Seattle experience, can speak to it in a different way.
“So, I don’t think anybody’s out there trying to convince anyone that their team’s the best. You want people to believe in it. So, I think there’s only so much you can do, but I can 100%, obviously, as someone who played in Seattle for a long time and knows what the franchise is about and the culture that we’ve built, I can be somebody who can explain things and be very honest and very open.”
Bird continued, “I think just based on what I’ve accomplished, and just my career, and how I’ve carried myself, I think people know I don’t bullshit. I’m not going to lie to you. The proof’s in the pudding in a lot of ways. I am who I am. I do what I say, I say what I do. So, I think people can be drawn to that and know that I’m just going to be honest. I’m not going to try to sell it, I guess what I’m trying to say. I’m just going to lay it out, be honest. And you know what’s funny? That’s what my college recruitment at UConn was like. That’s where I learned it from. This is who we are, if you want to be a part of it, great.”
So the chance to play with Breanna Stewart, the chance to play with Sue Bird: some pretty powerful tools at the Storm’s disposal heading into Monday.
Oh, and there’s one more thing, Bird hastened to add.
“I do pass a lot, Howard. I do pass a lot.”
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