Sue Bird, 10-time WNBA All-Star and two-time champion, broke the WNBA’s all-time assists record Friday night. With her 2,600th assist, a pass to Carolyn Swords, Bird passed Ticha Penicheiro to become the league’s assists leader. The 16-year veteran accomplished the feat in 477 career games.
During the game’s first quarter, Bird found Swords cutting through the lane for the bucket, for her third dime of the night.
“Congratulations to Sue Bird for setting the WNBA career assists record,” said WNBA President Lisa Borders. “Passing the great Ticha Penicheiro is a remarkable accomplishment that reflects Sue’s selfless approach to the game and provides yet another reminder of her sustained excellence over 15 seasons. As a distinguished star on the court and a servant leader in the community, Sue continues to have a profound impact on the WNBA and beyond.”
Penicherio also weighed in.
“Sue, congratulations on becoming the all-time assists record holder. Records are meant to be broken and if somebody is going to take your ‘crown,’ you want it to be somebody like you,” Penicherio said. “You do it with class, charisma, passion, humility, efficiency, professionalism, and creativity…always leading your team and your teammates. You have done so much for the game, not just here with the WNBA in the U.S., but all over the world!”
The WNBA legend offered Bird sage advice.
“Continue to be an example of how to play the game the right way and continue to inspire people around the world to play basketball,” Penicherio said. “I will continue to cheer every dime you throw because I am – and always will be – a fan!!!”
— WNBA (@WNBA) September 2, 2017
— WNBA (@WNBA) September 1, 2017
Regarded as the best passer in women’s basketball history, Bird has been the quintessential point guard since being drafted by the Storm in 2002. Her first assist came on May 30, 2002, when she dished to Adia Barnes for a three-point field goal in a 78-61 home loss to New York.
Bird led the league in assists per game in 2016 (5.8), 2010 (5.8) and 2005 (5.9). In the 2003 season, Bird averaged 6.5 assists per contest, the highest average in a single season of her career. Bird has averaged at least 4.0 dimes per game in every season of her career. At 6.4 assists per contest, Bird is averaging the third most per game in the WNBA, behind Courtney Vandersloot and Layshia Clarendon.