When Kobe Bryant‘s death shocked the world on January 26, 2020, it moved Tom Brady to join many other sports stars in sharing a tribute to the 20-year Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard.
Two years later Brady cited Bryant’s short life as a reason to consider calling it a career after 22 seasons in the NFL. Brady retirement rumors skyrocketed amid the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ 30-27 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, January 23. Brady, 44, acknowledged during Monday’s “Let’s Go!” podcast that he will take time to consider his future — with family being the main consideration.
“We never know what’s going to happen in the future, we really don’t,” Brady told host Jim Gray.
In Bryant’s case, the 41-year-old former NBA superstar was flying in a helicopter with his daughter, Gianna, 13, and seven other people when the fatal crash occurred in Calabasas, California. Bryant, who coached his daughter’s basketball team, was flying with another team member, her parents and another coach to the team’s game that day.
“I mean, Kobe Bryant, a friend of ours, God rest his soul,” Brady told Gray. “You think you’re going to live forever, we’re not. We think we’re going to play forever, we’re not. What can we do? We can enjoy the moments that we have. As difficult as it was to lose the game (Sunday), I was glad I played in it, and I was glad I was a part of it.”
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Family a Growing Consideration for Brady
Brady indicated several times over the past year that he wants to enjoy more moments with his family. He again expressed that to Gray during the podcast.
“As I’ve gotten older, I think the best part is, football is extremely important in my life, and it means a lot to me,” Brady told Gray. “And the biggest difference now that I’m older is, I have kids now, too, and I care about them a lot as well.
“They’ve been my biggest supporters, my wife is my biggest supporter,” Brady added. “It pains her to see me get hit out there, and she deserves what she needs from me as a husband, my kids deserve what they need from me as a dad.”
Brady: ‘Seize the Day’
Brady shared on Twitter in 2020 how the death of Bryant and the helicopter crash victims “deeply affected” him. The Bucs quarterback also saw a void left by Bryant that needed to be carried on.
“That’s what we will all miss. That’s why we hurt,” Brady wrote. “Because we know that he was always fighting against the norm. He was doing more than his share.”
“Now who is going to do the work that is still here to be done? Who is going to fight and break the norms with love and joy and inspiration? Who is going to discard fear, and doubt, and hate? Who is going to carry the load and be the superhero that he was? The answer is simple to me, all of us,” Brady added.
“Decide to make the change in yourself. If there is anything I have learned and been inspired by through this tragic event, it is this, seize the day. That’s what Kobe always did, and that’s what he wanted for us too,” Brad wrote.
For now, Brady will evaluate what “seize the day” will look like for him in 2022.