The story of Tom Brady's initial meeting with Robert Kraft has become a part of New England Patriots folklore.
If you ask Brady, it's also inaccurate.
According to Kraft, the story goes like this: Shortly after the Patriots took Brady 199th overall in the 2000 NFL Draft, the quarterback met the owner at the old Foxboro Stadium and cockily told Kraft, "Hi, I'm Tom Brady. And I’m the best decision this organization has ever made."
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Kraft has recounted that anecdote several times as an example of Brady's incredible confidence and drive. During an interview Wednesday with SiriusXM's Howard Stern, though, Brady corrected Kraft's retelling.
"I didn’t say that, for the record," Brady told Stern. "He doesn't remember as well as I do. I remember saying, 'You’ll never regret picking me.' "
While the message is the same, that's certainly a less bold statement than what Kraft recalls.
"What I meant was, look, you took a chance on me, and like everyone, I’m going to try to make you proud," Brady added. " ... I've really tried to keep that approach for 20 years."
Brady admitted later in the interview he knew his Patriots tenure had run its course before the start of last season.
But he already had won six Super Bowls with head coach Bill Belichick at that point, and the 42-year-old pointed to QB and head coach joining the Patriots in the same year (2000) as a big factor in their mutual success.
“It was such a confluence of factors. I was ready to prove myself,” Brady said. “I was really ready and eager to prove myself because of my college experience, I learned a lot about competition and teamwork and the things to me that really mattered.
“I was ready to go all-in at the professional level, and that was when Coach Belichick, that was his first year too, and we both came in with a lot to prove. I came in with an attitude I could bring a lot to the team, and I was all about the team, because that was what I had learned in college."