How Kevin Durant Helped Facilitate Tom Brady-Rob Gronkowski Team-Up In Tampa

'We realized that we have a chemistry that you can't replicate'


April 22, 2022

Four years after Tom Brady was involved in an unsuccessful attempt to recruit Kevin Durant to the Boston Celtics, an assist from Durant helped reunite Brady with his legendary tight end.

In the finale of Brady’s ESPN+ docuseries “Man in the Arena,” which premieres April 26, the quarterback explains how a throwing session with Gronkowski in Brooklyn after the 2019 season, facilitated by Durant, helped inspire Gronk to come out of retirement weeks later and team up with Brady in Tampa Bay.

Gronkowski: “I was getting into other things, other ventures. I hadn’t seen Tom in probably, like, eight months or so because he had the season. We met up in New York City.”

Brady: “I spoke with a friend of mine, Kevin Durant, who played for the Nets, and said, ‘Hey, I’m in New York. Is there a facility I could use?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, let me get it hooked up for you.’ So I drove over to Brooklyn, and Gronk was in town, and I said, ‘Hey, man, let’s get together and throw.’ “

Gronkowski: “I don’t even have to touch a football for seven months. I can just go out there and run stuff. It’s programmed in my body now.”

Brady: “And he looked like Gronk. And I think both of our juices got flowing a little bit. We realized that we have a chemistry that you can’t replicate.”

Gronkowski: “I was like, ‘Yo, if you go to a team and I like the team, like the situation, I’ve got no problem coming out of retirement.’ Switch it up, see what it’s like somewhere else.”

Of course, that proved to be a fruitful decision for both former New England Patriots stars. Brady and Gronkowski won a Super Bowl together in their first season as Buccaneers.

The episode also includes a quote from Gronkowski that shouldn’t sit well with Patriots fans.

“When we won the Super Bowl in 2018, I made a big play in the game, contributed,” the tight end says. “It went the way I was hoping, with a Super Bowl victory. And then there, right on the spot, literally the second we won the Super Bowl, I knew I was done. I didn’t have that good of a season, and I wasn’t running fast. I was feeling slow. I was feeling beat down, tired. I was retired for sure, 100 percent.”

Despite that certainty, Gronkowski waited until late March to announce his retirement, impacting New England’s offseason plans. The Patriots reportedly tried to sign veteran tight end Jared Cook that offseason, but Cook didn’t want to potentially play second fiddle to Gronkowski and ultimately landed with the New Orleans Saints. Cook went on to post a solid 43-705-9 receiving line in 2019 while the Gronk-less Patriots fielded arguably the worst tight end group in football.

Brady, who himself briefly retired earlier this offseason, has committed to play for the Bucs in 2022. It’s unclear whether Gronkowski, who’s currently a free agent and hasn’t revealed his plans for the upcoming season, will join him.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
Montreal Canadiens legend (and Bruins tormentor) Guy Lafleur
Previous Article

Bruins Mourn Death Of Guy Lafleur, Canadiens Legend/Hockey Hall Of Famer

MLB: Atlanta Braves at San Diego Padres
Next Article

Atlanta Braves Activate Austin Riley from the Paternity List

Picked For You