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Storm sign 8-time WNBA All-Star Tina Charles, bolstering title run in Bird's last season

In signing Charles, the Storm is getting one of the most prolific scorers and rebounders in league history.

SEATTLE — As a team legend nears the end of her career, the Seattle Storm bolstered its championship aspirations Tuesday with the addition of center Tina Charles.

The Storm signed Charles to a contract for the rest of the 2022 season after the 6-foot-4-inch center parted ways with the Phoenix Mercury on June 25.

Charles, the 2012 WNBA MVP for the Connecticut Sun, has been named to the All-WNBA team nine times and the All-Star team eight times in her career.

The team said Charles will wear No. 31 and be available to make her Storm debut Wednesday against the Las Vegas Aces.

The terms of Charles' contract were not disclosed by the team.

“We are excited to add one of the premier players in our league to our roster,” said Storm head coach Noelle Quinn. “Tina is a prolific scorer who brings veteran experience and adds depth to our front court. We look forward to seeing the immediate impact she can make for our team.”

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Now she joins a Storm team pushing for a final ring for team legend Sue Bird, who announced June 16 that this would be her last season in the WNBA. Seattle sits in second place in the Western Conference with an 11-7 record.

Charles will play alongside Olympic teammates Bird, Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd, a trio that helped the United States women's team win Olympic Gold in the 2020 Tokyo Games. Charles has won three Olympic Gold medals (2012, 2016, and 2020) during her career. Seattle now has seven players on its 11-person roster who appeared in the 2020 Olympics.

In signing Charles, the Storm is getting one of the most prolific scorers and rebounders in league history.

Charles ranks second all-time in 20+ point games with 164 and places sixth all-time with 6,889 career points. She's only seven points short of moving up the scoring leaderboard to fifth all-time.

The No. 1 pick in the 2010 WNBA draft ranks second all-time in career rebounds (3,507), including league-leading marks in four different seasons.

Before the two sides agreed to go separate ways halfway through the season, Charles averaged 17.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 0.8 blocks per game in 16 games with Phoenix. Her field goal attempts per game and scoring totals, however, were among her lowest marks in her career.

Charles led the WNBA in scoring with 23.4 points per game for the Washington Mystics in 2021 and signed a one-year deal reportedly worth $108,000 with the WNBA runner-up Mercury this offseason. She was reportedly deciding between the Mercury and Storm at the time.

She was expected to fill the scoring void of Mercury center Brittney Griner, who has been detained in Russia since Feb. 17 after authorities at an airport outside of Moscow said she had vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her bag.

Charles was second on the team in points, but her scoring did not translate to wins on the court. One season after making the WNBA Finals, the Mercury is currently out of the playoff picture with an 8-12 record.

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