WNBA Star Sue Bird to Retire After 2022 Season: 'This Will Be My Final Year'

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sue bird
sue bird

Joshua Huston/NBAE via Getty

Sue Bird is nearing her swan song with the WNBA.

"I've decided this will be my final year," the 41-year-old Seattle Storm star said on Instagram Thursday. "I have loved every single minute, and still do, so gonna play my last year just like this little girl played her first #TheFinalYear."

In her post, Bird shared a video of fans chanting "one more year" in January, when she decided she would play during the 2022 season. She also included a throwback image of her on the court as a teenager.

Bird also opened up about her retirement decision in a video shared on the team's Twitter page.

"So obviously when I entered this season I tried to be as honest as possible about where I was," she said. "I kind of knew that this was gonna be my last year but I wanted to be for sure about it before I announced retirement and did anything like that, that was so final."

"As the season has gone, I pretty much knew," she added.

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The Syosset, New York, native said she wanted to make her announcement before the Storm play the New York Liberty on Sunday.

"Once I saw the schedule and I started packing for this trip a little bit, I was like 'This is gonna be my last time playing in New York. This is my last time playing for my family and friends.' That's why the timing of this is what it is," Bird explained.

She added: "I just really felt strongly about announcing my retirement, saying it was my last year, so I could share that with my family and my friends, all the people in New York who have watched me grow up, so they could come and see me play for the last time in my home state. So I'm excited about that. It's also bittersweet, of course."

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Bird, a five-time Olympic gold medalist, entered the league in 2002.

In March, she spoke with PEOPLE about what she's most looking forward to this season.

"When it's all said and done, I will be really proud that I've played my whole career in one franchise in one city," she said.

"Just the relationship that you develop with this city itself, with the fans, it's really special," she added. "To have the ending possibly be in this brand new arena, Climate Pledge, it's a gorgeous arena. I think our franchise is really deserving of getting to play in it. I'm glad I'm going to be able to play in it. All of those things kind of tied in makes this last year … I just know it's going to be really special."

RELATED VIDEO: Dwyane Wade on Life After Retirement: 'My Knees Not Hurting, I'm Not Stressing as Much'

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As for how she's approaching this season, Bird told PEOPLE she simply aims to "really soak it all in."

"I mean, I'm not going to lie I do want to win," she said. "Holding up a trophy and then calling it a day, I don't think you can write it any better. But I'm not going to let that dictate how much I enjoy what we're doing here."

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