Saturday, May 25, 2024

Tom Brady Super Bowl News Michael Jordan Serena Williams Tributes to Wayne Gretzky

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Ahead of his 10th Super Bowl appearance, The Associated Press asked the best of the best – current and former champions of various sports – what impressed them most about Tom Brady.

Just what he needed: more testimonials.

Any club with Michael Jordan, Serena Williams and Wayne Gretzky in the ranks is necessarily exclusive.

Its members talk about Brady the same way the rest of us do.

None have disclosed trade secrets or praised their speed.

A few have nostalgically pointed out his longevity or marveled at how he shifted the NFL’s center of gravity from New England to Tampa Bay in the midst of a pandemic without skipping a beat.

Most mentioned the same qualities – intelligence, leadership, competitiveness – that fans and haters attached to Brady long ago.

But there was an interesting side light: All saw their own strengths reflected in Brady, especially those still playing and nearing the age of the 43-year-old quarterback. (The full answers, slightly edited and accompanied by career highlights and grades, are below.)

So 36-year-old LeBron James focused on Brady’s mantra, mileage doesn’t matter, which goes well with his.

Manny Pacquiao, a flawless gym rat at 42, expressed his admiration for Brady’s dedication to staying in shape.

Williams, 39, swears she saw Brady’s tiger eye shine while watching her very first Super Bowl 20 years ago, marking him, like her, as a big game contender for decades to come.

Flaming Serena pushes Gavrilova away

Gretzky, 60, took it a step further, convinced Brady had turned his love for gambling as a child into a plan that would see him play until his forties.

And even Jordan, who turns 58 next week and has scrupulously avoided speaking publicly about his rivals for most of that time, sent a response, albeit a brief one.

He chose to highlight Brady’s “relentless will”, a subject he knows something about.

Not all of the athletes contacted – looking at you, Tiger Woods – did not respond.

James’ response came via his Instagram post “Goat talk”.

Williams’ response came from a press conference at the Australian Open in Melbourne, where she made a point of stopping to tell AP Asia-Pacific sports editor John Pye that she was happy to receive the question.

On the other hand, great baseball player Derek Jeter said through a spokesperson: “We have received a few of these requests over the past week. Mr. Jeter has deferred to allow others to talk about Mr. Brady. “

So ok. Without delay:

Michael Jordan ESPN Trailer

– MICHAEL JORDAN (Played 15 seasons in the NBA… Pro Basketball Hall of Fame, six-time NBA champion, six-time Final MVP, five-time League MVP, two-time Olympic gold medalist, NCAA champion)

“I’ve known Tom for a long time, and for me his intelligence and determination to win is out of this world. That relentless will is what really sets him apart from other players in the game.”

– James Lebron (Currently playing 18th season in the NBA… Four-time NBA champion, four-time MVP of the finals, four-time league MVP, two-time Olympic gold medalist)

“(Brady’s appearance) lets me know and lets both of us know that we can still play this game at a high level. It doesn’t matter how many miles, how many games. It doesn’t matter how many skeptics. Regardless of the stats of our potential professions, at our age we can still dominate our sport.

“And also, we can bring groups together that we maybe haven’t been in for a long time. And just our professionalism… We are drawn to the people who gravitate towards us because we have a common goal: to win and to win at the highest level. “

The Aussie smokes as Serena takes a break

– SERENA WILLIAMS (Turned pro in 1995… 23 Grand Slam singles titles, most by any player in the open era… Four-time Olympic gold medalist in singles and doubles… She and her older sister Venus bought a small property in the Miami Dolphins of the NFL in 2009)

“The guy is a champ, and I’ve said it since he beat Kurt Warner, I mean – what was it, 2000 (actually 2001)? It was that crazy Super Bowl He was the underdog and they I’m a football fan (laughs)… and I always thought, “This guy is awesome.”… To do what he’s been doing outside of New England and for come to Tampa, I mean, he should have just come to see the Dolphins, really. Seriously, Tom, what were you thinking? …

“I was actually talking about (Brady’s leadership) the other day after watching the game. I said, ‘It must be so inspiring to be either a wide receiver or a lineman for him… or just in the team in general, because it’s like, “This guy has won so many rings. , he obviously knows what to do. ” And to have that inspiration, they have to be so excited for every game. Especially the playoffs, they have to be like, ‘Oh, my gosh this is our luck, we’re with the bigger guys.…’

– MANNY PACQUIAO (Turned pro in 1995 … only eight-division world champion in boxing history … Senate member in the Philippines)

“Tom Brady is an inspiration to me. We’re both in our forties, playing dangerous sports that are physically and mentally demanding. But maybe that is where the comparison ends. What he has accomplished and still performing at his age, it is beyond anything I can remember.

“In 2019, I became the oldest fighter to win a world welterweight title. It was HARD. I was forty years old and I knew… I couldn’t cut a corner in training camp. Run that last mile, crush that last set of crunches, rest even if you don’t feel tired – everything has to be done. Tom Brady does this every day. He doesn’t have an off season.… It takes superhuman dedication and discipline… Tom Brady is always on my mind during training camp and between fights. Because Tom Brady is the gold standard. “

– WAYNE GRETZKY (Played 20 seasons in the NHL and in the WHA… Hockey Hall of Fame… Four-time Stanley Cup champion… Nine-time league MVP… still career NHL top scorer and assistant producer)

“I don’t think it would happen overnight. You start to think about this at a young age, how much you love the game. So I’m sure at a young age he loved it so much that he was probably very mature for a 23, 24 year old… making sure his workout habits, nutrition and diet were as good or better than anyone’s… Therefore he did all the right things things for 20 years to be able to maintain where he is both mentally and physically …. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work, and ultimately we are seeing results at his age …

“He’s going to have a bad game, which we all do as athletes, and when you’re young people say, ‘Well, he had a bad night, a bad game, a bad week. It will bounce back. “When you’re older the first thing people want to point out is, ‘Well, I think he had a bad game because he’s old.’ And for him, he hasn’t. When he’s having a rough night, which we all do, he bounces even better next week and everyone is kind of like, “Well, okay, I guess he’s not that old. … I think the proof is that he won three road games in the playoffs, which is very difficult in football. “

– JIMMIE JOHNSON (Competed in NASCAR for 18 years… Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion… Will be a 45-year-old IndyCar rookie this season)

“His leadership brought out the talent of others. He plays as a team and not as an individual.… Being humble can help a person overcome layers of adversity, ego, and creates that ability to energize those around you with the same goals – it helps people to shoot in the same direction. What he accomplished is a lesson for all of us. “

– LANCE ARMSTRONG (49… seven times Tour de France champion; stripped of all titles in 2012)

“He’s doing something we’ve never seen before. He’s playing one of the toughest games and what is perhaps his greatest strength has been his ability to keep a 43-year-old body so healthy. than him. It has nothing to do. with genetics or luck. He has to spend an incredible amount of time focusing on this: flexibility, mobility, suppleness, and in layman’s terms, longevity. The world of sport does. never seen anything like it and probably not for a very long time. “

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