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Sue Bird says joining ownership group of the Seattle Storm felt inevitable

SEATTLE — Becoming a part-owner of the only WNBA franchise she ever played for felt like an inevitability for Sue Bird.

It’s one more thing Bird is adding to an already busy agenda in retirement.

“I don’t think there was a matter of timing. … It’s not about this being the right time, or wrong time, or really anytime,” Bird said on Monday. “I feel like it was kind of inevitable, and a lot of ways something I always wanted, something that I’ve always had in the back of my head. And then for whatever reason this is just when it worked out.”

The Seattle Storm announced last week that Bird would be joining the ownership group for the franchise adding an expected piece to her business portfolio that’s helping define the post-playing part of her career.

There is Bird’s production company “A Touch More,” founded with fiancée Megan Rapinoe. There’s her media and commerce company — “TOGETHXR” — that was founded with Alex Morgan, Chloe Kim, and Simone Manuel. She’s also a part-owner of Gotham FC in the NWSL.

And now there’s her piece of the Storm. As fellow Storm co-owner Lisa Brummel quipped, “I don’t even think I would call her retired. Whatever. She’s not playing anymore.”

“She had a lot to do during the past year and this was a great time to be able to kind of bring our joint interests together,” Brummel said.

Bird was the No. 1 overall pick by Seattle in the 2002 WNBA draft out of UConn and played 19 seasons for the franchise. She retired after the 2022 season as the league’s career assists leader with 3,234.

Bird was part of WNBA championships with the Storm in 2004, 2010, 2018, and 2020. She was also heavily involved in the business aspects of the league as a player serving on the executive board of the players association during her career. That experience and acumen can be beneficial now on the ownership side.

“But that is from a player’s perspective. So the way I view it is I can take that with me, bring that to the ‘room,’ but I also understand there is a lot to learn and a lot of curtains to pull back,” Bird said. “And I’m really excited about understanding the business side of things and then combining all that and bring whatever value I can bring.”

Bird said she isn’t sure how active of an owner she’ll be — other than wanting a key fob to be able to access the team’s new $64 million training facility.

“Obviously I’m clearly passionate about women’s sports. I clearly believe in it. I clearly want to continue to push it forward and that’s really, truly my agenda,” Bird said.

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WNBA: https://apnews.com/hub/wnba-basketball

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