Numerous parallels can be drawn between the illustrious careers of NFL legend Tom Brady and Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James.
At the age of 37, the four-time NBA champion has been playing some of his finest basketball while nearing the beginning of his third decade in the league. Similarly, Brady dominated in the NFL in his late 30s — and even 40s, triumphing in the Super Bowl for the seventh time last year, after turning 43.
Brady announced his retirement after this past NFL season, bidding farewell to football as the most decorated player to have ever graced the league. And he did so despite leading in passing touchdowns, passing yards, as well as attempted and completed passes in the 2021 regular season.
Brady and James have become the symbols of longevity in sports. Perhaps that’s why the Lakers’ forward admitted to feeling as if he lost something when he saw the man he took inspiration from call time on his career.
“I personally was just like so in shock when I saw it,” James said. “I was one of the ones that didn’t say anything when the first initial announcement came out, I didn’t retweet anything, I didn’t say anything because I wanted to make sure I heard it from him.
“And then when he came out with his announcement, as a guy who’s kind of been my motivation factor over the last few years seeing what he’s able to do at his age and always kind of being a leader of a team and even at his age, people still gravitate towards him and gravitate towards his energy and how he prepares and things of that nature.
“So a small piece of my definitely left when Brady decided to retire, that’s for sure.”
James admired Brady’s commitment
James said Brady’s stats and championships “speak for themselves” when it comes to defining the quarterback’s legacy — as they must, considering he’s collected more NFL titles than any single franchise ever has.
But the Lakers All-Star emphasized Brady’s professionalism and commitment to the game as something he has particularly admired.
“I just think the way he, when he got that starting job in New England, from the time he was a starter, the way he carried himself as a professional day in and day out, committing to the game, is something that’s just a remarkable thing and something I will always look up to and respect,” James said.
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