If you saw the post the Seattle Storm made on Friday announcing Sue Bird’s return for her 19th season, respectfully, no you didn’t . It’s been deleted considering the franchise, uh, broke a ton of tampering rules lmao. 

WNBA free agency technically doesn’t begin until Jan. 15, when players and teams can begin negotiations. Paperwork can’t be official until Feb. 1, meaning the Storm were about three weeks early with their announcement — and they shouldn’t have even been talking shop with Bird until the end of the week.

Is this all very dumb? It sure is! Does this debacle change anything? Considering Bird’s ‘one more year’ post is still up and she’s played her whole career in Seattle… I’m gonna say no.

So let’s proceed by considering the deleted news as fact.

What does Bird’s “signing” mean for the WNBA?

For one, a legend is back, and that was never a given. The 41-year-old played her final playoff game against Diana Taurasi in 2021 and ended with a jersey swap and interview that felt like the end for her basketball career. Instead, she’ll have another chance to shatter more records, extend the ones she’s already locked up, and compete for a, wait for it, fifth championship.

What does Bird’s “signing” mean for the Storm?

Seattle fans should feel pretty confident right now. Their Big 3 of Bird, Jewell Loyd and Breanna Stewart are all free agents, but the PG’s return should have influence. The group won two titles in 2018 and 2020 with losses in 2019 and 2021 both with Stewart sidelined. Stewie and Loyd are unrestricted free agents, able to sign wherever they want, but there’s a pretty good incentive to stay home now.

The Takeaway

Seattle created themselves quite a storm of trouble having an early Sue Bird party, but the PG isn’t going anywhere. In fact, her return could help the team’s core stay intact. One of the league’s budding dynasties has potential for another run in 2022.

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