A record crowd of 18,100 arrived at the Climate Pledge Arena, chanting "Thank you, Sue,"

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Crowd of 18,100 arrived at the Climate Pledge Arena, chanting "Thank you, Sue," as the former first  draft picker performed an encore before proceeding to the knockout stages. 

 "I'm really unprepared for this moment  here. I don't know if anyone is  preparing for this," the five-time Olympic gold medalist told fans. 

"Right now, I just want to say from the bottom of my heart how grateful I am,"  she told to her fans

It wasn't quite the farewell Bird had hoped for as a relentless A`ja Wilson led the Las Vegas Aces to an 89-81 win over Storm, aiming to become number one seed in the playoffs.

 Bird produced a solid defensive effort, collecting 9 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds. 

Sue Bird,  Seattle Storm, WNBA,

 "All those nights you told me to shoot more - I'm sorry about that. I'm sure tonight is one of those nights," Bird joked to  fans. 

 Place in the knockout round She gets a chance to play in Seattle again, with  Storm winning a playoff berth, but fans see the game as a goodbye to Bird,

whose name is synonymous with the franchise after reaching a record of 13 selections for the whole tournament. -WNBA star. 

A young fan sitting on the edge of the field tried to give Bird a flower before the 41-year-old keeper pushed the ball in at half-time, 

And signs were scattered around the crowd where his fiancée and former two-timer World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe is watching. 

After participating in WNBA for all but 5 of the league's 26 years, the top woman in women's professional basketball told reporters 

 Bird said: “The WNBA has reached an important milestone in the past two years. "One thing we've always believed in is that the product on the floor will always  be great."

 A year earlier, Seattle fans had called for Bird not to retire, chanting "one more year", a moment that spurred her on to continue competing.

However, to show her gratitude to the crowd on Sunday,  Bird made it clear that she  left everything she had  on the court.