“Age is only a number,” joked entertainer Joan Collins. (Obviously, the remainder of the statement proceeded to say, “It’s absolutely superfluous — except if, obviously, you end up being a container of wine.”)
For Sue Bird, the joke sounds valid. At 40 years of age, she is the most established part in the WNBA this season. Also, in spite of her proceeded with progress, the story of her resigning has been following her for 10 years.
“I believe it’s the point at which I turned 30 that I begun getting inquiries of, ‘How much longer would you like to play? What do you see yourself doing after you’re finished playing ball?’ Which is so captivating considering I am staying here 10 years after the fact.”
At the point when Bird won her fourth WNBA title with the Seattle Storm the previous summer, the discussion hit a breaking point. Presently she says questions regarding how long she will play are asked or shipped off her by somebody on very nearly a consistent schedule.
“There is a piece of me that invests wholeheartedly in the way that I am as yet ready to play at my age, still ready to remain at a high level, kept my body sound and in shape,” she says. “I joke I’m attempting to make 40 the new 30.”
From multiple points of view — joke or not — Bird is prevailing in that. All through her 20 seasons in the WNBA (some may contend it’s 18 as she missed the 2013 and 2019 seasons because of injury, yet Bird is staying with 2021 being her twentieth), she has not even once fall off the seat.
“I think what you are seeing is a great deal of players across a lot of various games play longer. Clearly the enormous names are LeBron James and Tom Brady. In any case, with myself and Diana Taurasi in ladies’ ball, we are players that are appearing with present day science and innovation you can remain fit as a fiddle, you can remain sound and play very much into your late 30s, your 40s.
“So ideally we are changing that story on the grounds that the inquiries are irritating.”
Taurasi, who will turn 39 this year, is out of the Phoenix Mercury line-up for in any event a month in the wake of breaking her sternum. The two vets have won four Olympic gold decorations for Team USA’s Women’s Basketball crew, and are wanting to catch a fifth award this late spring.
“Somehow or another we are fortunate that it occurs during the WNBA season since you don’t need to stress over getting fit as a fiddle or getting ready,” says Bird of the circumstance of the Olympics. “You have the most ideal practice, which is playing with your WNBA group and playing in games, so you will be sharp.
“The crucial step is that every one of these different nations are some place right currently preparing, preparing to whip our butt, and we will have possibly seven days together before the games start. So entire science playing with one another, that gets testing.”