<
>

Bird signs one year deal with Storm

SEATTLE -- Four-time All-Star guard Sue Bird has signed on
for another season with the Seattle Storm. The deal is reportedly a one-year, $93,000 deal according to the Seattle Times.

Bird, the first player the Storm picked in the 2002 WNBA draft,
said she did not agree to a longer term because of uncertaintly
about whether the team will stay in Seattle.

"I thought it was just smart for me to keep my options open
next year," Bird, 26, told The Seattle Times for a story in Sunday
editions.

Bird will be an unrestricted free agent along with her teammates
All-Star forward Lauren Jackson and guard Betty Lennox after the
upcoming season, which begins May 19.

Last month the Washington state Legislature decided not to vote
on a plan for a new $500 million partially taxpayer-funded arena.
In response, Clay Bennett, the Oklahoma City-based majority owner
of the Storm and NBA Seattle SuperSonics, said the teams likely
would not play in Seattle after the 2007-08 season.

If Bennett doesn't get a deal for a new Seattle-area arena by
Oct. 31, his $350 million purchase agreement allows him to move the
team. Bennett's ownership group bought the Sonics and the Storm
last July.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.