Sue Bird says Breanna Stewart ‘literally saved my career’

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Sue Bird stopped by the Knuckleheads podcast, presented by The Players’ Tribune, where she discussed the impact that Seattle Storm teammate Breanna Stewart has had on her career.

“Stewie is special,” Bird said. “My favorite part is — and I’ve said this to her — she literally saved my career. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it.”

Bird added that the arrivals of Jewell Loyd in 2015 and Stewart the following year changed the direction of her career with the Storm.

“In that moment, we really were rebuilding,” she said. “Some people might say we were tanking. We were rebuilding. We knew Stewie was coming out of college, so it wasn’t an accident. And it was kind of in a position where, if we didn’t get Stewie, I was actually a free agent.

“I could have left. And it was really on the scale — staying in Seattle, finishing my career here, to be honest, like, playing in the playoffs again. If Stewie didn’t come, I don’t know what would have happened.”

The Storm went on to win the WNBA championship in 2018 and 2020. A free agent again this offseason, Bird has yet to announce whether she’s returning to the WNBA for another year or retiring. Following the Storm’s playoff exit in September, the guard said she was in no rush to make “some emotional decision.”