This past season the Denver Nuggets management brought in future Hall of Famer Sue Bird as a basketball operations associate. At the time Bird was the latest women to be hired by an NBA franchise, as she joined her peers Becky Hammon, Jenny Boucek, Nancy Lieberman, and Kristi Toliver.
“It was really a perfect match because here they are giving me this amazing opportunity but also understanding that I’m still a player,” said Bird
“I still have a season, and I’m still preparing for that. It’s just, for me personally, the best of both worlds.”
Two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant had the opportunity to play a season in a city Bird has called home for 17 years. The 2007-2008 season would be known as the final season the Seattle Supersonics played in Seattle before the franchise relocated to Oklahoma City and changed its name to the OKC Thunder. But if you ask Durant, the city of Seattle still holds a special place in his heart, and as a student of the game, he is a fan of Birds game as well. When he heard that the Nuggets were hiring her to their staff, he was happy to hear the news.
“I’m so happy for Sue. She is a great basketball mind that has played in so many great environments. She has set so many great cultures and will be an asset to the Nuggets”, Durant told me.
Someone tells who was thrilled to have Bird join the organization was two-time All-Star, Isaiah Thomas, the two have been friends for a while.
“I’ve known Sue for the last few years. So, she has always helped me and we had the same hip injury. So, that was someone I leaned on when I was deciding if I wanted hip surgery or not. She is one of the best basketball players to ever play the game no matter girl or boy. For me, I had a relationship with and anytime I need to reach out to her, she was welcomed with open arms. Having another player and a person like her only make it easier for everybody else,“ said Thomas.
The Denver Nuggets just finished this season with a heartbreaking loss to the Portland Trailblazers in Game Seven of the Western Conference Semi-Finals and now Bird and along with the rest of the Seattle Storm are preparing to defined their WNBA Championship this upcoming season.