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Megan Rapinoe celebrates fiancée Sue Bird following retirement announcement: ‘You deserve the world’

Bird, a longtime star for the WNBA's Seattle Storm, announced Thursday she will retire after the current season.
Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe got engaged in 2020.
Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe got engaged in 2020.Andrew D. Bernstein / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

After two decades in the WNBA, superstar Sue Bird has announced that this current basketball season will be her last.

On Thursday, the Seattle Storm player, 41, shared with fans on social media that she plans to retire after the 2022 season concludes later this year.

She uploaded a throwback video to Instagram of her telling a reporter that she was on the verge of tears as fans chanted “one more year” during the playoffs last season. 

Fellow WNBA Olympian and friend Diana Taurasi, who was standing next to Bird in the clip, encouraged the crowd as the Seattle Storm point guard became emotional. The next slide in the post showed Bird dribbling a basketball as a child.

“I’ve decided this will be my final year,” she wrote in the caption. “I have loved every single minute, and still do, so gonna play my last year just like this little girl played her first.”

Bird also included a smiley face and the hashtag #TheFinalYear.

In a video posted to the Seattle Storm’s Instagram page, Bird further explained, “So obviously when I entered this season, I tried to be as honest as possible about where I was. I kind of knew that this was going to be my last year, but I wanted to be for sure about it before I announced the retirement or did anything like that that was so final.”

She added, “As the season has gone, like I said, I pretty much knew, and then once I saw the schedule, and then once I started packing for this trip a little bit, I was like, ‘Oh, this is going to be my last time playing in New York. My last time playing in front of my family and friends.’ And so that’s why the timing of this is what it is.” 

As the stop in New York City during the Seattle Storm's current road trip approaches, the Long Island native said she expects the game to be both exciting and bittersweet. 

Proud fiancée Megan Rapinoe, 36, also posted Bird’s retirement news on her Instagram story.

The United States women’s national soccer team star gushed, “Baby I could say so many things, but we don’t have one million years so I’ll just say this….I am so proud of you Sue, beyond my grasp in words. You deserve the world.”

Rapinoe added a goat emoji as well, calling her fiancée the greatest of all time.

The couple, who started dating after the 2016 Olympics, got engaged in 2020.

In a November 2020 interview on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Rapinoe told the host that she was the one to pop the question.

“Well, in true and typical Megan fashion, I really do plan things, and I do think about them,” the Olympic gold medalist joked at the time. “I just don’t actually have a plan so I had been thinking about it for a while, thinking about it really every day for a number of months.”

The soccer player shared that she didn’t have a real engagement ring during the proposal.

She told Jimmy Fallon, “I actually took one of the rings off my fingers and gave it to Sue. And I didn’t know exactly when I was going to do it but just, like, the perfect moment presented itself.”

Both athletes uploaded an Instagram photo of Rapinoe getting down on one knee with a backdrop of the sparkling ocean behind them.

Last year, Bird opened up to TIME magazine about how Rapinoe helped her speak out about her sexuality

“What Megan helped me understand was that, yes, what I was already doing was great, living authentically,” said Bird, who publicly came out as gay in a 2017 ESPN story when she announced her relationship with Rapinoe.  

She continued, “But it was important to say it, because the more people that come out, that’s where you get to the point where nobody has to come out. Where you can just live. And it’s not a story.” 

The five-time Olympic gold medalist has played in the WNBA since 2002 when she was drafted No. 1. She is a 12-time All-Star and has made the All-WNBA team eight times.

Bird has played for the Seattle Storm for her entire career and she is currently the league’s all-time assists leader. 

In 2020, Bird won her fourth title, which makes her the only WNBA player to capture the championship trophy in three separate decades. She is also the only WNBA player to reach the milestone of playing in at least 500 games.