Sue Bird

The Seattle Storm’s longtime point guard, who’s led the team to four WNBA championships and is the league’s all-time leader in assists, talks basketball, inclusivity, and late-’90s reality TV.

Interview by Haley Shapley
WNBA star Sue Bird sitting on a three-step stool, facing to the left and smiling. Sue Bird; photo by Hayley Blavka

On the excitement of attending a Seattle Storm game

The simplest way to sum it up is that the WNBA is a league of 12 teams, each with 12 roster spots, so it’s a survival of the fittest just to be playing. The product is off the charts right now; the play on the court is getting so exciting. Opposing players all talk about how difficult it is to play against us on our home court and how loud our fans are. It’s a really fun sporting environment.

On showing off Seattle to visitors

I’m always taking people to Pike Place Market (85 Pike St). If you’re of a certain age—my age—you probably watched The Real World: Seattle growing up, and that’s where they worked. Definitely go to the Market to pick out fresh vegetables, herbs, and fish, or get a sandwich at Three Girls Bakery (1514 Pike Pl). People from out of town do like to see the first Starbucks (1912 Pike Pl). Usually at Pike Place Market, you can check off a bunch of boxes in less than half a mile.

On fitness off the court

For Pilates, I usually go to Tribe Fitness (606 Broadway E;) on Capitol Hill, and I swim a lot at the Pro Club (4455 148th Ave NE) in Bellevue, where they have a really nice pool. There’s a cryotherapy place that I use in Queen Anne called Celsius Cryotherapy (229 Queen Anne Ave).

On the inclusivity in Seattle

When you’re in places that aren’t inclusive, you feel it. In Seattle, I never feel that way. You always feel like you belong; it would be weird if you didn’t in Seattle. Being part of the LGBTQ community, you can feel the love all over the place, whether it’s a rainbow flag hanging outside a restaurant or just the way people treat you with respect.

On the new Climate Pledge Arena

It’s beautiful, and it’s one of the best arenas in the country, in my opinion. I think it’s a championship building, and that’s what the Storm has brought to the city—we’ve brought championships, so it’s a good fit.


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