Sue Bird admitted it felt like a fairy tale.
NEW YORK (AP) — Sue Bird admitted it felt like a fairy tale.
It was only fitting that her last regular season game in her hometown of New York ended with her hit the last shot. The league’s all-time assist leader hit a 3-pointer to seal the game and give the Seattle Storm an 81-72 win over the New York Liberty on Sunday.
“It was incredible,” said Bird, who finished with 11 points. “In a way, I was pretty disappointed that my last game in New York was so early in the season. It was one of the first places I would play for the last time.”
Bird, the league’s all-time top assist, announced Thursday that she would be retiring at the end of the 2022 season. She grew up on Long Island about an hour from the Barclays Center.
While the shot clock ran down with 18.9 seconds left. Bird got the ball on the wing and made her breakthrough, much to the admiration of the crowd, who gave her a standing ovation as she went out of play right after.
“It was bouncing around and I knew it needed it,” Bird joked as he held up her hand.
The Liberty honored her with a four-minute video tribute before the game, and former teammates Sami Whitcomb and Natasha Howard gave Bird a jacket and jersey with all of the New York teams sewn into it.
New York City players wore t-shirts that read “Thank You Sue. Love, New York”.
“It was special for New York,” Bird said. “I couldn’t have written it better. It was a really fun day.”
Bird needed about 100 tickets for family and friends who wanted to see their final game in New York. Also in the audience – one of the biggest of the season – was her mother Nancy.
41-year-old Bird received a standing ovation from the crowd when she was introduced. She had a relatively quiet first half with two points, three assists and two rebounds as Seattle led 39-37 at the break.
The game was tight throughout, with Seattle (10-6) leading 75-72 in the final minute before Williams hit a 3-pointer 53.3 seconds from the wing after a scramble for the ball. Then, 35 seconds later, Bird hit her last shot.
Gabby Williams scored a season-high 23 points to lead the storm.
Marine Johannes scored a career-high 23 points to lead New York (6-10). Sabrina Ionescu added 12 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Liberty.
RETURN FROM DIDI
DiDi Richards was playing in her second game of the season, returning from a right thigh injury. She checked in mid-Q1. Richards ended the game after 13 minutes, scoring a point and four rebounds.
“It’s nice to see DiDi out there again,” said Ionescu. “She has come a long way from rehab so she will continue to get better and help us.”
https://www.king5.com/article/sports/wnba/storm/birds-late-3-seals-storm-win-in-her-new-york-finale/281-92bb670f-ad02-4ee1-9ea3-9ba203317ff5 Bird’s late 3 seals Storm win in her New York finale