Shaq, Michael Phelps and LeSean McCoy Offer Insightful Advice to Tom Brady Post Retirement

The NFL superstar QB announced his retirement in a Feb. 1 emotional video posted to social media

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) leaves the field after an NFL wild-card football game
Photo: John Raoux/AP/Shutterstock

Tom Brady announced he's retiring from the NFL, joining several other great athletes in retirement who have some ideas as to how he should spend his post-football career.

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE at 2023 Shaq's Fun House in partnership with Wynn Nightlife, party host and NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal said he wishes to impart this advice to Brady: "All you gotta do is just, you know, be yourself."

"Tom's beautiful, he's great," the 50-year-old NBA iconc added. "He knows what to do."

As for Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, he said that moving on from the sport he loves is going to be "challenging," but recommended that Brady find a new routine to help him.

"I mean, the biggest thing is finding your own peace and your own happiness," Phelps, who's gone through his own mental health struggles, told PEOPLE. "... It's something that's been a part of your life for two decades, and especially at a high level like he's played. I'm sure he has a love for the game. It's obvious, right? I'm sure it was very challenging, just by watching his message of how hard it was to walk away."

"But there's always that time where it's needed, and he must have felt that," he continued. "So for me, I just say, 'Make sure you're listening to your heart. Find your routine.' "That's something that was so important to me and helped me… I think that's something that athletes have to [find]. We have to have some kind of structure and routine."

Tom Brady #12 of Tampa Bay Buccaneers answers questions at a press conference following the 2022 Buccaneers minicamp at AdventHealth Training Center on June 09, 2022 in Tampa, Florida.
Tom Brady. Julio Aguilar/Getty

On the other hand, former NFL player LeSean McCoy, 36, said he "can't give him any advice."

"[Tom's] so ahead of his time. He's 45 years old. He's an older guy, but he takes care of himself," McCoy said. "He's well, he's smart, has a lot of businesses already lined up and the way he is, Tommy knows what he's doing."

Brady announced on Feb. 1 in a video posted on social media that he was retiring "for good" after Tampa Bay's early exit from the Super Bowl playoffs this season. (He had previously announced last year that he was retiring before "un-retiring" 40 days later to enter a 23rd season in the league.) On Friday, Brady officially filed a letter with the NFL and NFLPA, reconfirming his Feb. 1 retirement, ESPN insider Adam Schefter reported, citing sources.

"I'm retiring. For good. I know the process was a pretty big deal last time, so when I woke up this morning I figured I'd just press record, and let you guys know first," an emotional Brady said in the Feb. 1 video.

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"It won't be long-winded, you only get one super-emotional retirement essay, and I used mine up last year, so. I...really thank you much," he continues, while choking up, "to every single one of you, for supporting me, my family, my friends, teammates, my competitors. I could go on forever. There's too many. Thank you guys for allowing me to live my absolute dream."

"I wouldn't change a thing. Love you all."

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