Taurasi, Mercury gift Sue Bird custom shoes in Bird’s Phoenix farewell

Jul 22, 2022, 9:36 PM

The Phoenix Mercury and guard Diana Taurasi gifted Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird a custom pair of shoes for her final regular season game in Phoenix.

The Mercury won 94-78. Taurasi finished with 28 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, three steals and two blocks while Bird had two points and five assists.

The duo that originally played together at the University of Connecticut from 2000-02 has had their friendship and rivalry serve as one of the WNBA’s signature storylines the last two decades.

Both have remained with the same WNBA franchise for the entirety of their careers, and in their 46th final regular season matchup on Friday, the Mercury and Taurasi presented the retiring 41-year-old Bird some Jordan 1s in custom Storm colors.

The case for the shoes reads, “Through your contributions on and off the court, you showed the world what true greatness looks like. Forever a legend. Thank you, Sue! — Phoenix Mercury”

The two had a press conference together after the game, a first for both when it comes to a member of the opposition sitting alongside them.

Taurasi joked that she’s glad it’s over between the two of them and Bird downplayed the significance of the matchup.

“It wasn’t that different. There was no extra anything on this,” Bird said. “I think of this is another game and the story of our WNBA ‘rivalry’ and I think of it more as just a celebration. I don’t think of of it beyond that.”

Friday was also Taurasi’s 500th career game, the second-most all-time in WNBA history. She only trails, of course, Bird. She played No. 571 in Phoenix.

Bird and Taurasi won five Olympic gold medals as teammates for the United States from 2004-21. Across their WNBA careers, Bird has won four WNBA championships while Taurasi has three.

Taurasi, 40, told ESPN on Thursday that as she has gotten older, the thoughts about retirement and conversations with her family have started to come up. She will be a free agent at the end of the season.

Phoenix Mercury

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark...

Associated Press

Iowa star Caitlin Clark declares for 2024 WNBA Draft

Iowa's Caitlin Clark announced Thursday that she will leave the Hawkeyes after this season and enter the WNBA Draft.

12 minutes ago

Sug Sutton...

Arizona Sports

Phoenix Mercury re-sign Sug Sutton to training camp contract

The Phoenix Mercury re-signed point guard Sug Sutton to a training camp contract on Tuesday coming off her breakout season in 2023.

2 days ago

Natasha Cloud #9 of the Washington Mystics plays against the New York Liberty during Game Two of Ro...

Arizona Sports

Mercury’s commitment was ‘everything’ for new G Natasha Cloud

New Phoenix Mercury guard Natasha Cloud said the franchise's commitment to improving was a driving force in her decision to sign.

6 days ago

Diana Taurasi celebrates...

Tyler Drake

Mercury focused on present and future in twilight of Diana Taurasi’s career

Phoenix Mercury GM Nick U'Ren finds himself in a balancing act as he works to build a sustainable roster around Diana Taurasi.

8 days ago

Arizona Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort chats pregame...

Arizona Sports

Full Arizona Sports’ 2024 Newsmakers Week schedule

Leaders from the Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona State Sun Devils and more join Bickley & Marotta.

9 days ago

Former Baylor Bears player Brittney Griner reacts during ceremony to retire her jersey before the g...

David Veenstra

Baylor women’s basketball retires Brittney Griner’s jersey

Baylor retired Brittney Griner's No. 42 on Sunday. In 2012, Griner won the NCAA Championship and led the Bears to a 40-0 record.

11 days ago

Taurasi, Mercury gift Sue Bird custom shoes in Bird’s Phoenix farewell