The Denver Nuggets announced today that Sue Bird, current player for the Seattle Storm and eventual member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, has joined Denver’s front office as a Basketball Operation Associate.

Bird is 38 and intends to return to the WNBA’s Storm to play her 17th season, but she is planning the next stage of her career and getting her foot in the door in the NBA with the Nuggets is a great step for both parties. In their press release the Nuggets touted her resume and unique perspective, and as an 11-time all-star, three-time WNBA champion and Olympic champion there’s a lot of resume to go around.

This was not unexpected; Bird was seen in the Pepsi Center over the summer talking with coaches and executives, but it is good to see the deal get closed.

The NBA has been making an effort to allow more access to women over the past few years – to get that different perspective, especially from someone who also excels at playing it – whether it’s via the coaching route like Becky Hammon or Becky Bonner’s path through the front office of the Orlando Magic. Howard Beck at Bleacher Report wrote a terrific piece about Bonner last year and it’s good to see Denver looking for mutually beneficial relationships among untapped talent.

Denver’s willingness to expand the staff to add Mark Price earlier this year as a shooting coach was an excellent sign, and this is another step in their quest to add the right support staff and get the right input to continue advancing Denver’s cause in the coming years. As someone who followed Bird’s career from its inception I personally am thrilled for her and look forward to following her forward from here.

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