For two decades, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick stood side by side as pillars of the New England Patriots. Together, they claimed six Super Bowl victories, cementing one of the NFL's most decorated dynasties.

On Wednesday, Brady joined the ranks of the Patriots Hall of Fame as its 35th inductee. In an event that lasted two and a half hours, the ceremony included the retirement of Brady's jersey and his official induction into the team's Hall of Fame.

A unique event for the Patriots

The Patriots orchestrated a unique induction ceremony held inside Gillette Stadium, appropriately on June 12, celebrating the seven-time Super Bowl champion.

The event featured a range of special guests, including celebrities and over 100 Patriots alumni. Among the highlights were comedy acts by Bill Burr and musical performances by Jon Bon Jovi, Kenny Chesney, and Jay-Z.

Brady's former teammates delivered moving speeches that stirred emotions among the attendees. However, it was Brady's long-time head coach, Bill Belichick, who left everyone surprised with a heartfelt tribute to the player who stood by his side for 20 years.

Following the speech, the two shared a hug at the center of the stage, marking a full-circle moment since Brady's departure from the Patriots in 2020.

Despite rumors of strain between Brady and Belichick, their embrace showcased a continued bond and mutual respect between the two legends.

Mutual respect between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady 


New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates with coach Bill Belichick after the AFC Championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Chiefs 37-31 in overtime to advance to fifth Super Bowl in eight seasons.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

During his own speech, Brady expressed kind words for Belichick, acknowledging their long partnership and the success they achieved together.

“It wasn't me, it was us. Our hard work, our love for the game,” Brady said towards Belichick.

Brady and Belichick achieved a remarkable 249-75 record during their tenure from 2000 to 2019, securing six championships for New England. Despite rumors suggesting strain in their relationship around the time of Brady's departure, he reiterated during the ceremony that there was no truth to those speculations, emphasizing the enduring respect and bond between him and Belichick.

“Let me make this crystal clear, there is no other coach I would rather play for than Bill Belichick.”

Brady has since retired, while Belichick is seeking a new position following his departure from the Patriots.

Belichick made headlines by attending Brady's Netflix Roast last month, where he took playful jabs at his former star quarterback. However, Wednesday's event was all about paying tribute to Brady's career in New England.

A departure from the usual for Tom Brady

Brady was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame just two years after retiring, a departure from the usual four-year eligibility requirement.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft additionally revealed that the No. 12 jersey has been retired in honor of Brady. He also announced plans for a new 12-foot statue of Brady to be erected outside the team’s Hall during this season.

“There is only one iconic number that will always represent Tom Brady, and tonight, I promise that it will never be worn again as the No. 12 is now officially retired.” said Kraft.

Belichick is expected to receive similar recognition in due time. His legacy as the greatest coach in New England's history, and possibly across the entire NFL, is all but etched in history.