Storm Storm will be sporting the No. 10 Saw Bird jersey this season

The top of Sue Chicken’s retirement will come when the WNBA season approaches in 4 months and the Storm’s blueprint is a brand new course with out the best level guard in franchise historical past.

Ceremonially, the Storm would bid farewell to and honor Chicken when she retired her #10 jersey on June 11 at Local weather Pledge Area throughout a sport towards the Washington Mystics.

Former Byrd teammate Lauren Jackson is the one different Storm participant to have her jersey retired.

“I do know sooner or later we will convey her again and retire her jersey, however why cease there?” Storm coach Noel Quinn stated final season. “You need to get a statue exterior the constructing for what you’ve got achieved not only for this franchise, however for this league, this sport, and this metropolis. Can anybody be sure that occurs?”

“I’ve stated it over and over, Sue deserves all her flowers. She’s a task mannequin and has been an envoy not only for girls’s basketball however for the game usually for over 20 years. Sue Chicken embodies whirlwind basketball as a result of she does it proper each single day.”

Since being drafted #1 total within the 2002 WNBA Draft, Byrd has spent her 21-year profession taking part in 19 seasons for the Storm.

The 5-foot-9 ponytail playmaker from Syosset, New York, turned a Seattle icon and a fixture within the Storm’s lineup whereas taking part in and beginning 640 video games—essentially the most in WNBA historical past—and compiling a 333-247 common season report and 34-26 mark within the playoffs for greater than twenty years.

She introduced retirement plans final June and spent the second half of the 2022 season singing praises throughout a farewell tour that drew 1000’s of followers who flocked in droves to observe her ultimate stops across the league.

At first, the very cool Sparrow was hesitant about her tributes and pre-game festivities, however she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of affection and affection bestowed upon her.

“The Farewell Tour was nice,” stated Chicken. “I did not know what I used to be entering into or predicting what it might be like, however I could not have requested for a greater send-off. All of the love, clearly right here in Seattle however even on the street simply seeing the turnout and seeing individuals put my shirt on or individuals put my footwear on or individuals carry streamers. It was unbelievable and I am actually glad I did. I wasn’t positive I wished to and now I am unable to think about not doing it.”

Chicken performed her ultimate sport on September 6, dropping 97-92 to the Las Vegas Aces in Sport 4 of the NBA semifinals. After I walked off the court docket for the final time at Local weather Pledge Area, the group chanted, “Thanks, Sue!”

“One of many hardest issues about retiring is rarely being in a workforce setting once more,” Chicken stated on the time. “That is 100% of the toughest elements. It is actually onerous to duplicate what the setting is and what in case you really feel. It is such a protected place. … It is so distinctive and intimate. You get to struggle with individuals and that relationship is so particular. I will in all probability miss that essentially the most” .

Chicken, 42, is broadly thought of the best guard in WNBA historical past and leaves behind a powerful legacy that features 4 WNBA championships and 13 WNBA All-Star appearances in addition to league data for many wins (333) and assists (3234).

In fact, the influence of birds goes past the storm. The previous Connecticut Huskies star gained two NCAA championships, a report 5 Olympic gold medals with the ladies’s nationwide workforce and 5 Euroleague titles.

“Sooner or later I will look again at every little thing, mirror somewhat bit and take all of it in,” Beard stated. “It is only a lot. There’s rather a lot you concentrate on. … Principally I will miss the individuals. All of the individuals I performed with, the coaches, the individuals within the constructing, the Storm followers who actually embraced me and took me in.

“There’s rather a lot to course of now. However down the street, I will get an opportunity. And it is not like I am going too far. I will be round.”

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