Tom Brady: “I Never Cared About Legacy” Howard Stern Interview Highlights

NFL great Tom Brady made waves recently when he left his long-time team, the New England Patriots to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Florida. The 42-year-old quarterback sat down with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show on Wednesday for a rare up close and personal interview. Brady discussed everything from his decisions to leave the Patriots and his relationship with former coach Bill Belichick, to his marital issues and how he navigates relationships with teammates. Here are 8 interesting nuggets from the interview.

ON NOT CARING ABOUT LEGACY / LEAVING NEW ENGLAND FOR TAMPA BAY:

“I would say I never cared about legacy.. I never said in high school, ‘Man, I can’t wait for what my football legacy looks like.’ That’s just not me. That’s not my personality. So, why would I choose a different place? It’s just time. I don’t know what to say other than that. I had accomplished everything I could in two decades with an incredible organization and an incredible group of people. That will never change. No one can ever take that away from me. No one can take those Super Bowl championships or experiences away from us.”

ON WHETHER HE OR BELICHICK DESERVE CREDIT FOR NEW ENGLAND’S SUCCESS:

“I think it’s a pretty shitty argument … I can’t do his job and he can’t do mine. Would I be successful without him, the same level of success? I don’t believe I would have been. But I feel the same vice versa. To have him allow me to be the best I could be, so I’m grateful for that and I very much believe that he feels the same about me because we’ve expressed that to each other.

He has a lot of loyalty and we’ve had a lot of conversations that nobody has ever been privy to and nor should they be. So many wrong assumptions were made about our relationship and how he feels about me. I know genuinely how feels about me. I’m not going to respond to every rumour or assumption made other than what his responsibility is as a coach is to get the best player for the team not only for the short term but the long term as well.”

ON KOBE BRYANT AND WHY HE ISN’T READY TO STOP PLAYING:

“Kobe thought he had a long life too..When I look at his life — we all think we’re gonna live forever. But the reality is, we don’t know when our day is gonna come. So I could sit here and stop playing football and I could worry about what’s gonna happen or worry about this or that, instead of saying, ‘Why don’t I live my life the way that I want and enjoy it? In the ways that are gonna be the most fulfilling to me. Which, for me, it’s doing what I love to do. You don’t tell a musician to stop singing at age 42. You don’t tell a great painter to stop painting at 42.”

ON OVERCOMING HARD TIMES IN HIS MARRIAGE TO GISELE BUNDCHEN:

“Two years ago, as it related to football for me, I had to make a big transition in my life to say I can’t do all the things that I wanted to do for football like I used to. I had to take care of my family because my family situation wasn’t great. She wasn’t satisfied with our marriage. I had to make a change in that,” Brady said.

“She didn’t feel like I was doing my part for our family. She felt like I would play football all season and she would take care of the house and all of a sudden when the season would end, I would be like, ‘Great, let me get into all my other business activities. Let me get into my football training.’ And she’s sitting there going, ‘Well, when are you going to do things for the house? When are you going to take the kids to school and do that?’ And that was a big part of our marriage. I had to, like, check myself. Because she’s like, ‘I have goals and dreams too.’”

Brady went on to explain that her point was, “Well, yeah, of course this works for you. It all works for you. But it doesn’t work for me. Because you can get caught up in your life where you think a relationship’s great, because it only works for you. And the point of a relationship — it has to work for both. You’d better work on both, ’cause if you don’t, then ultimately it’s not sustainable.”

Brady explained that his wife wrote him a thoughtful letter detailing how she was feeling and how much it meant to him to read it. “It was a very thought-out letter that she wrote to me, and I still have it. I keep it in a drawer, and I read it, and it’s a very heartfelt letter for her to say this where I’m at in our marriage. It’s a good reminder to me that things are gonna change and evolve over time. What worked for us 10 years ago won’t work for us forever because we’re growing in different ways.”

ON BEING COMPARED TO MICHAEL JORDAN:

Michael was like a physical freak. He didn’t start on the varsity when he was a freshman in high school — I didn’t start on the  freshman team when I was a freshman in high school. MJ was the second or third pick in the NBA draft I was the 199th pick.. Michael was the rare exception in that he had the mental make up as well.

ON JEALOUSY AND COMRADERY WITH TEAMMATES:

I never felt any jealousy from any teammate in 20 years of pro sports, I never felt one thing. I’ve always felt a great connection with my teammates. I think my teammates give so much to me, in return I think I give so much back to them. I have a skill-set for only a quarterback. I couldn’t even play high-school football in any other position — but the specific traits of a quarterback, I actually have all those things. I couldn’t catch the ball, I can’t run the ball, I can’t tackle so I need everyone else to do those things as well. For me it was about embracing those guys and what they did, so that I could do what I do.

ON WHY HE LOVES WORKING WITH A TEAM:

“I know guys who came from wealthy backgrounds, I know guys who came from the inner city. I know guys who came from good high schools, from shit high schools … You develop relationships with all these different people and you’ve gotta find ways to connect on different levels with different guys. I’ll be 43 this year, and a lot of my teammates will be 22. I’ve gotta connect with the 22-year-olds and find things we can share and have fun with. I think that’s why I’ve always enjoyed team sports because it’s not just about me.”

ON HAVING FRIEND AND MLB STAR, DEREK JETER, AS HIS LANDLORD:

Since making the move to Tampa, Brady had to make quick living arrangements and worked out a deal with his friend and former baseball star, Derek Jeter. Jeter is the co-owner of the Miami Marlins and lives there, Brady has taken residence in his furnished 30, 000 square foot Davis Islands mansion that’s only a few miles away from the Buccaneers team facilities, and he doesn’t appear to want to move out any time soon.

“I am going to stay here for a while. I had to get here on really short notice. He’s been a friend of mine, so we talked and it all worked out. Perfect for me here to get started here. I forgot people could drive up to your house. Here they can pull right up to the back of the house. Derek did a pretty good job of screening it. I am a little bit of an introvert. I feel like my house is the place I can relax. When you are outside the house, you understand everything with being me … In the backyard, there’s a lot of boats that have pulled up and people at the front.”

Stern jokingly asked how the landlord/renter situation breaks down, does Brady call Jeter when things need to be fixed?

“I call and I b—- to him and he gets it fixed,” Brady said. “Everyone thinks they want to own a home, and it’s nice to rent. You get all the benefits with no responsibility, so I’m totally cool with this.”