Sue Bird keeps breaking records in her 17th WNBA season

Written by on October 6, 2020

It’s Bird’s 17th season in the WNBA, and she has her eyes on a fourth WNBA title.

By EMILY BURACK/ JTA
 

OCTOBER 6, 2020 04:53

Sep 12, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird (10) dribbles the ball against the Washington Mystics during the second quarter in game three of the WNBA Finals at Eagle Bank Arena. (photo credit: BRAD MILLS-USA TODAY SPORTS)

Sep 12, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird (10) dribbles the ball against the Washington Mystics during the second quarter in game three of the WNBA Finals at Eagle Bank Arena.

(photo credit: BRAD MILLS-USA TODAY SPORTS)

Sue Bird turns 40 in two weeks, but the Jewish basketball star is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.

Currently playing in the WNBA finals with the Seattle Storm, Bird set a record for most assists in a single playoff game on Friday night: 16. That beats the previous record of 11 — which was also set by Bird (tied with seven other players).

It’s Bird’s 17th season in the WNBA, and she has her eyes on a fourth WNBA title. The last three came in 2004, 2010, and 2018. The Storm are beating the Las Vegas Aces two games to zero in the best-of-five finals.

“I’m 39 years old, I’m not what I was physically when I was 21,” Bird told the Athletic. “I feel like younger players now when they play against me, they probably think this is always how I’ve been, but there was a faster version. A faster, quicker version did exist. But she wasn’t as smart.”

The 16 assists were also Bird’s career high in a single game, and Bird remains at the top of the WNBA career assists list.

Bird, whose father Herschel is Jewish, became an Israeli citizen in 2006 while playing for a team in Russia (European teams only can have two Americans on their roster at a time, so Bird played using her Israeli passport to help the team acquire more American players). But her new citizenship also became a way for her to connect to her Jewish identity.

“I was able to learn a lot about a culture that I probably wouldn’t have tapped into otherwise,” she told the Washington Jewish Museum about a short stint living in Israel.

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