Earlier this month, Sue Bird received an early birthday gift as the Seattle Storm, were able to win their 4th WNBA championship in the last 16 seasons. Bird has been the only consist in all four championship runs for Seattle.
After the Storm swept the Las Vegas Aces, Storm’s head coach Gary Kloppenburg was asked “Is Sue Bird the greatest Seattle sports athlete of all time?”
Yes, said Kloppenburg and then he laid into the media for their lack of coverage of women’s sports.
“Oh yeah,” Kloppenburg said. “I don’t know what’s going on up there with those columnists. They all need to take notice, I think. … To think of what she’s done through a couple of decades, it’s really unprecedented.
“The other side of that is the women’s game hasn’t gotten the respect — and partly because of the white guys that are writing those type of columns. Y’all white guys wake up out there. You’ve got a whole tremendous gender that can flat-out play basketball.”
Emmy Award winning journalist Jemele Hill, who is the host of the Jemele Hill is Unbothered which is featured on Spotify, agrees with Kloppenburg.
“Sue Bird is the gold standard. She is a tremendous athlete, winner and should definitely historically be viewed as one of the greatest winners in sports. It is not just in basketball, but in sports. So to see her at this point to be able to get her flowers, and to be appreciated for what she has done for the game throughout a couple of decades now,” said Hill.
To understand WNBA players’ athletic contributions and how much they have been on the front lines as activists. It is special to see an athlete [Sue Bird] that is 40 years old and still at the height of her powers.
For her to win yet another championship, I think it is very meaningful, not just in her personal history. But, under this broader narrative about what women can accomplish at a certain age.
I think that there is this tendency to write off women once they get past a certain age, and to consider them less valuable. She is only proving that we only get better with time.
Birds resume also includes four Olympic Gold medals, and two National Championships in college, and three Big East Championships. That is not counting her international accolades and high school accomplishments. Bird has won at every level the game of basketball has had to offer. There is not doubt five years after she decides to retire, she will be a first ballot Hall of Famer in both the Womens and Naismith Hall of Fames.