Cousins Talks “Finishing Strong”

April 8, 2024

When it comes to The Big Podcast with our man Shaq, the talk is usually about basketball – and life in general. On the latest episode, the conversation took an interesting turn with football star Kirk Cousins as a guest. 

What’s that all about? Well, Cousins has had a few stops along his NFL career. He had several good years at the man under center for the Minnesota Vikings. This season, he’ll be in Atlanta, as new QB for the Falcons. 

What’s the connection to hoops and Shaq? Simple, really… and the two talked about moving around in a long career; where you end up, and how you want to finish. At 35 years old, Cousins is definitely thinking Atlanta is the last stop for his career travels. 

Cousins on the podcast: “I want this to be my final stop. I don’t want to do the deal — no offense — but I don’t want to go play for the Suns and Celtics at the end. I want to go finish with the Heat, if you will, and be done, you know? So, that’s really my plan is that I wouldn’t play for another team — I’d finish with the Falcons.”

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Cousins was obviously talking about how Shaq played for a few different teams for a single season at the very end of his career. The moves came after he left the Lakers and went to the Miami Heat, where he definitely had several good years. The last few teams? Probably not so much…

For Cousins, it’s also a family matter: “My boys are 6 and 5, they won’t remember that I played in Washington, they will barely remember I played for Minnesota, they’re going to remember I played for the Falcons, and I want those to be good memories.”

He added that there’s a good feeling about – in his words – finishing “strong:” “So, I feel like this is the stretch I want to finish strong. People remember how you finish more than how you started. So, the start was good, but I want to finish really strong here in Atlanta and have my boys say yeah, ‘he may have played for Washington or Minnesota, but we remember him as a Falcon’ I want fans to say the same thing.”

Shaq won those three straight titles with the Lakers. Then he captured more jewelry in Miami. After that came two seasons in Phoenix with the Suns… then one campaign with the Cleveland Cavaliers (one of the same teams as LeBron James, BTW), and his final year with the Boston Celtics. 

For Cousins, he spent his first six seasons in Washington, then another six as a Viking. Now he’s just signed a brand-spanking-new four-year, $180 million deal with the Falcons. Cousins is aiming to finish strong, with a team he thinks has potential for a deep playoff run. 

Heading into this season, Cousins has some rehab and recovery work to finish. His 2023 season ended with an Achilles injury. At this point, he’s still not 100 percent, but Cousins says he’s optimistic he’ll be ready for the upcoming season. 

Returning from an Achilles injury — especially for a QB who’s a lot closer to 40 than a recent college grad – is no small feat. Still, Cousins says he’s on track, doing daily rehab, getting mentally and physically ready for the upcoming season. Will he finish strong? This season will tell.

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