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By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — As a Bay Area kid, Tom Brady grew up loving the San Francisco 49ers. It made sense, then, that when given the first real opportunity to choose where he wanted to play football, the quarterback wanted to return home.

READ MORE: 'Time For A Trade?' Tom Brady And Gisele Bundchen Seem To Miss New England (The Weather At Least)

Some details about just how badly Brady wanted to make that happen have now come out, in excerpt from Seth Wickersham’s new book, shared by Sports Illustrated.

Interestingly, Brady has only played in San Francisco once in his entire career, and he’s only played against the 49ers three times in total. But if he had his choice last winter, he would have made the place his home once again.

“In late February, [Brady] tried to assert control,” Wickersham wrote of Brady’s pending free agency in 2020. “He reached out to Wes Welker, who was now the 49ers’ receivers coach, and let him know that if San Francisco was interested, it would be his choice — no free-agency tour, no bidding war, full stop; he would end his career where his love of football began, in scarlet and gold, allowing his parents to drive to games for the first time since the 1990s.”

No negotiation. No nothing. Brady was willing to sign on the dotted line with San Francisco.

The 49ers could have had the GOAT, but according to Wickersham, the team was “tepid.”

READ MORE: Report: Patriots' Damien Harris To Play Vs. Cowboys

After doing some obligatory due diligence, the 49ers … decided to stick with Jimmy Garoppolo.

The oft-injured Garoppolo started just six games, throwing seven touchdowns and five interceptions. Brady of course ended up with Tampa Bay, where he played more than 95 percent of the team’s offensive snaps, throwing 40 touchdowns and 12 interceptions before throwing 10 more touchdowns in the playoffs, winning the Super Bowl (his seventh) and earning Super Bowl MVP honors (for the fifth time). He’s thrown for over 2,000 yards with 17 touchdowns and three interceptions thus far in 2021, and the Bucs are 5-1. The 49ers are 2-3, in last place in the NFC West.

The 49ers also effectively moved on from Garoppolo this year, when they traded three first-round picks plus a third-round pick to move up to No. 3 overall in the 2021 draft quarterback Trey Lance.

Of course, a lot of teams must feel regret for underestimating what Tom Brady had left in the tank at age 43 and beyond. But the 49ers had an appeal that no other team had: the lure of being Brady’s favorite team as a kid, and the ability to essentially sign the quarterback with no questions asked by the player.

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Suffice it to say … the 49ers can’t feel too great about how things worked out.

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Tags: boston news it happens here boston next michael hurley nfl san francisco 49ers seth wickersham sports news tom brady michael hurley the quarterback brady wanted touchdowns san francisco only played free agency

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Its Not Hard: Kyle Lowry Details Biggest Miami Heat Problem

Getty Heat point guard Kyle Lowry may need to take on a bigger role to stop Miami's losing streak.

Getting his “butt kicked” three times at home isn’t sitting well with Kyle Lowry. The Miami Heat point guard admitted something has to change with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo out. It starts by tweaking the way the team runs their offensive sets.

Lowry was brought in to push the pace and get the ball into the hands of his playmakers, mainly Butler and Adebayo. The Heat don’t have that luxury anymore, not after Adebayo underwent thumb surgery and Butler continues to deal with a tailbone injury. Following a 105-90 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in Miami, head coach Erik Spoelstra promised changes. And Lowry offered a sneak peek of what they could be.

“It’s not hard. You got guys who are professionals, so I don’t think we change it to where we’re going to run the flex offense. We’re not going to that extreme. But it will be a lot more – without Bam, without Jimmy, we don’t know for how long – I’m sure it’ll be a lot more possession basketball for us. A lot more getting the ball in the right guy’s hands at the right times and just kind of slowing it down a little bit more.”

That could mean a lot more freedom for Lowry to take over games. He’s only averaging 13.0 points on 4.5 field goals per game – his lowest totals since the 2012-13 season – and the six-time All-Star has never been afraid to let it fly.

"That's a Drivers Ed class on how to draw a foul and finish!"

Kyle Lowry hits the layup through contact off the steal!@MiamiHEAT | #HEATCulture

— Bally Sports Sun: HEAT (@BallyHEAT) December 7, 2021

“I’m still in that flux of trying to figure out if I need to shoot more … shoot more, shoot more, or shoot more,” Lowry said. “But I’m in a situation where I just want to continue to keep making my teammates better and my team better. Listen, right now we got our butts kicked three times in a row at home. We just have to continue to stay with what we’re doing, believe in each other and figure it out.”

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Biggest Problem: Transition Defense

Lowry didn’t hesitate when asked about the biggest problem during Miami’s recent losing streak. It’s been their transition defense, especially when they crash the boards too hard and can’t get back to set up in the half court. According to Lowry, the lack of communication and missed matchups has led to a bevy of open looks for opposing teams.

“I really think our transition defense has been our problem a lot of the time and missing matchups and all that stuff,” Lowry said. “I think the communication level hasn’t been as strong as we like it to be. But transition [defense] is one thing I feel like we’ve been giving up a lot of open looks and mismatches trying to figure it out, not communicating well enough on that end.”

Grizzlies finished the night with an Offensive Rating of just 107.2. Heat again found enough defense with their press-to-zone in the second half. But Miami's halfcourt points/play, per @cleantheglass, was 63.5.

— Couper Moorhead (@CoupNBA) December 7, 2021

The communication hasn’t been crisp on the offensive end, either. Forward Caleb Martin thinks they are “missing moments” by being too careful and ignoring instinct. Guys are too focused on making the perfect play rather than the easy one.

“I think sometimes we’re trying to be too careful,” Martin said. “We’re trying to make the right play, the perfect play, every time. I think what makes us a great team is we play off instinct and we play off a great pace, so when we don’t do that and we try to make the right pass and the perfect play every single time, sometimes it can hurt us.”

Something Has to Change

Tyler Herro continues to shine as a lone bright spot throughout a frustrating season. He scored a team-high 24 points (11-of-19 from the field) off the bench in 29 minutes against Memphis, one night after starting and notching 15 points. His role is constantly evolving due to the uncertain nature of Butler’s injury.

I've been against starting Tyler Herro for a multitude of reasons.

I'm coming around to starting Tyler Herro until Bam is back, with Jimmy Butler (when he's there).

There are too many dead spots in the starting lineup on offense.

— Five Reasons Sports (@5ReasonsSports) December 7, 2021

Herro has never complained about coming off the bench. He just wants to contribute. And, at least for now, the young guard is deferring to Spoelstra’s expertise in setting lineups and rotations.

“I don’t make those decisions. Obviously that’s going to be Spo and the coaching staff,” Herro said. “I think with those guys out and without Bam, I think things change. Shots come from different areas, different guys, and we generate good looks much differently now without Bam and Jimmy. So hopefully Jimmy’s alright and we can get him and keep him in the lineup and, like I said, find some solutions to what’s going on right now.”

Tyler Herro is just so skilled.@MiamiHEAT | #HEATCulture

— Bally Sports Sun: HEAT (@BallyHEAT) December 7, 2021

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