Breanna Stewart pens thank you letter to Seattle with special note to Sue Bird

Breanna Stewart pens thank you letter to Seattle with special note to Sue Bird

Breanna Stewart ended her six-year career in Seattle on Wednesday when she announced her decision to join the New York Liberty, but she didn’t leave without saying “thank you.”

Drafted with general election no. 1 to the Storm in 2016, Stewart went on to become a four-time All-Star, the 2018 MVP and helped the team win two league titles.

In a letter shared on social media on Thursday, Stewart addressed the Storm franchise, fans and wrote special notes for two of her former teammates. Her message to the recently retired Sue Bird came first.

“Sue, I really should have written this after retirement, but I’ll just put it here now. It’s hard for me to imagine anything Seattle related without you,” Stewart wrote. “You have literally helped me since day 1 and I know it won’t stop anytime soon.”

It’s clear now that Stewart’s stay in Seattle for Bird’s final season was a top priority, as she signed a one-year supermax deal in 2022 for her partner in crime retirement tour and has now moved on.

Stewart’s move to the Liberty is widely regarded as one of the most influential in WNBA history. She used the platform provided by her free agency to advocate for reformed travel in the league, something she wrote Bird paved the way for.

“My idol, my teammate, my PG, my leader, my friend. Thank you for not only setting the bar, but continuing to raise it every moment you can. I will continue to raise this league just like you!”

Bird has been vocal about the changes she hopes to see for the league, something that has continued into her retirement. “We want to be invested and not be seen as a charity,” she said recently while speaking with retired Duke coach Krzyzewski.

Part of what likely makes Stewart and Bird’s bond so strong is their common background at UConn. Both were developed in college under coach Geno Auriemma, who talked about Stewart’s latest move in a postgame press conference.

“I spoke to Stewie two days ago. She feels like it’s a chapter of a life that’s closed, it’s over. She’s starting a new one. I’m excited for her. I get to see her more often, so that’s a plus .” he said.

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As she bids farewell to her past, an excited New York fan base counts down the moments until she suits up for Liberty. Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant is one of them, as he has been public about his hopes of seeing Stewart at the Liberty.

With Stewart, Sabrina Ionescu and Jonquel Jones, the Liberty have the potential to be dominant when the WNBA season begins in May. The Storm, on the other hand, are left with several holes to fill.

Stewart addressed four-time All-Star Jewel Loyd in her farewell letter, who is currently Seattle’s longest-tenured player.

“We went from being roommates to throwing unlimited lobs at games (sorry Sue) to an unstoppable tandem that helped bring this franchise 2 more titles! I am very grateful to always have you in my corner”, she wrote.

The two were a dominant pairing together, something Stewart talked about after a close loss to the Las Vegas Aces last season. “We’re a duo that’s hard to stop. We’re both still early in our careers and we know how scary we can be on the court. You saw that last night,” she said.

The loss prompted reporters to ask Loyd about the team’s future. “You find players you want to play with. People have seen my game, how me and Stewie play, and hopefully they want to be here. There will be some calls and conversations to recruit, but I’m not a recruiter, so you hope it happens organically,” she said.

Breanna Stewart was a huge star for the Seattle Storm, now she’s taking her talents to New York. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

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