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She has never been in better shape and isn't talking about retirement anytime soon.Her accolades are already legendary: two NCAA titles at UConn when the Huskies were establishing their dynasty in the early 2000s; two WNBA championships with the Storm; four Olympic gold medals with Team USA; three world championship golds; and four Euro League titles while competing in Russia.Brad and Sue were born 13 days apart in October 1980, and their older sisters were sports teammates. (Barnett concedes that Bird won when she sent a singing telegram to his house.) As teens, they once had a game of one-on-one that got so heated that it came to a 20-minute standstill when both refused to get the basketball after it rolled to the other end of the gym.

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"I just never felt that calling, if that's the right word.

I was living my life, just not necessarily leading the charge.

"But, actually, I enjoy that people don't have to worry about me. "You're probably never going to know if something bad is happening in my life.

I think I was just made that way." Sue Bird is in her 15th season with the Seattle Storm.

Barnett cracks up recounting the time that Bird, around age 7 and the youngest on a local track team coached by Barnett's father, finagled her way into a race against much older girls. "My dad always tells the story: 'She was staring down the girl who won like she wanted to go over and bite her,'" Barnett says. That's how competitive she was even that young." Lifelong Sue Bird friend Brad Barnett, center, says he and Diana Taurasi, left, share some similarities. ," he says, "while Sue is the quiet one who's nice to everybody but isn't the big personality." But Herschel Bird, Sue's father, says her ability to enjoy life without everything revolving around athletic success has helped prolong her career. "I keep waiting for her to get 'old,' but I don't see it." Bird thinks she gets a lot of her "balance" from her mom, Nancy.

He recalls getting a call from the UConn coaching staff after the knee injury that ended Sue's freshman season in 1998-99 after just eight games. But there's also the fact that Bird typically shows people only what she thinks they need to see."So even though I understand there are people who think I should have done it sooner, it wasn't right for me at the time. It's my journey." Bird leans back in a wooden Adirondack chair and settles in to detail the essential parts of her story -- with help from those who know her best. The two attended UConn's 100th consecutive victory in Storrs, Connecticut, last February.was gay while she was at UConn, but "nobody ever talked about it when I was in high school or college." She and Phoenix guard Diana Taurasi -- Bird's close friend and former UConn teammate, who in May married recently retired WNBA player Penny Taylor in a wedding that Bird attended -- never discussed the topic until they were playing together in Russia in the mid-2000s.Dressed up or dressed down -- even in her practice togs -- her look is effortless.Bird might be in the fourth quarter of her basketball career -- at 36, she is the oldest player in the WNBA and is in her 15th season with the Seattle Storm -- but she is expertly managing the clock.She wasn't going to say certain things in the media. Now, when you talk about diversity or inclusion or racial inequality or sexism or other hot-button topics, she's going to give it to you how she sees it.