A rally and a parade are planned for Sunday afternoon near Seattle Center.
"We thought, 'Oh, crap, what kind of year is this going to be?'" Bird reminisced.
For years, Bird has sidestepped talk about when she'll put an end to a Hall-of-Fame bound career that includes two NCAA titles at CT, four Olympic gold medals, three FIBA world championships and four EuroLeague championships.
A host of basketball and Seattle sports stars hailed the Storm on Wednesday night following their championship-clinching win over the Washington Mystics in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals. One of the league's most decorated players also grasps the impact of her latest triumph.
What was billed as a battle between two of the league's most lethal three-point shooting teams turned into a one-sided display for the Storm. Stewart drained all four of her three-point attempts in the first half to build Seattle's insurmountable lead.
But everyone on the delirious Storm side may have been happiest for two people - first-year coach Dan Hughes, and the venerated veteran Bird. "I've seen her as a youngster, and I have seen her with the Storm, and she really is truly wonderful". Bird said. "That's when I knew it was over".
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Sue Bird doesn't look like she's slowing down. "There is probably no comparison to be honest".
Candace Parker, Sparks: An All-WNBA selection for the eighth time, Parker (17.9 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 4.7 apg) was the only player to reach those averages in points, rebounds and assists this season. Our team went through a rebuild and yes, I chose to stay. And this season showed that the city of D.C. will be right there, along for the ride.
The coach sensed something brewing early in his first year with the franchise.
"It took us a lot of experimenting throughout the year to find our best groove, and we didn't really get it until after the all-star break, and it carried over into the playoffs", he said. "All year you could just see the escalation".
Elena Delle Donne, their 2016 Olympic teammate, scored 23 points for the Mystics. In addition to setting the franchise single-season record for points (742) and field goals (270), Stewart broke her own single-season franchise record for 20-plus point games, boasting 22 on the year.
"It's a small arena", said Delle Donne of the 4,200-seat ESA, which will be the lowest capacity in the league.
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As for the Washington Mystics, this awesome season comes to an end.
ED: "To get her - trust me, I know, I've got you, Panda". Yet less than a minute later, the Storm had the lead back to 15 points, completely shutting the Mystics down. They deserve to be WNBA champions. After going up 2-0 against Phoenix, Seattle needed five games to close out a feisty Mercury squad. The Mystics joined that unwanted club. The Mystics were 0-for-16 on 3-pointers in a 75-73 loss in Seattle in Game 2.
"Sue's done everything for me", Stewart told ESPN reporter Holly Rowe after the game. "We won this thing".
This is likely just the beginning for the dynamic 24-year-old forward, who won the NCAA Championship during each of her four seasons at the University of CT. "This didn't feel like my first trip to the Finals". In the end, the Storm, who dominated the regular season, proved to be the league's best team.
One by one, Storm players paid tribute and gave testimonials to their living legend Bird, thanking her for being an inspiration to accomplish their greatest achievement.
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