Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird broke the WNBA’s all-time assists record Friday night, passing Ticha Penicheiro with her 2,600th career assist.
Bird set the mark at Capital One Arena against the Washington Mystics in the first quarter on a pass to Carolyn Swords. Play was stopped as Bird was given the game ball and an ovation from the crowd.
Penicheiro congratulated Bird afterwards, praising her “class, charisma, passion, humility, efficiency, professionalism and creativity.”
“Records are meant to be broken and if somebody is going to take your ‘crown,’ you want it to be somebody like [Bird],” she said.
Bird, who accomplished the feat in 477 career games, is averaging 6.4 assists per game this season, third-best in the league behind Courtney Vandersloot and Layshia Clarendon.
She has played her entire 16-year career with the Storm after getting drafted by the team in 2002 with the No. 1 pick. Her first career assist came on May 30, 2002, when she dished to Adia Barnes for a three-pointer.