Tag playing hockey
The NBA's most awkward white guy ever now has
razor-sharp foot blades and a stick. We're all screwed.

There are certain mysteries of life that will always puzzle me. Why doesn't McDonald's sell hotdogs? Why do people say "heads up" when you should duck? How did Edward Scissorhands wipe his butt? And how did Greg Ostertag manage to last in the NBA for 11 seasons and make almost $50 million? No, really. He did it.

Not that I'm complaining. Greg was one of the primary inspirations for the creation of this blog. In fact, during Basketbawful's first couple years of existence, Ostertag acted (without his knowledge) as our official mascot. I was truly brokenhearted when he retired. Fortunately, every once in a while I get a little scrap of 'Taggy goodness to feed on...and this is one of those times.

An anonymous commenter turned me on to the following Arizona Republic article: Ostertag digs hockey, longs for NBA. Here are some highlights:

1. Greg really does dig hockey: "On most Wednesday nights, Greg Ostertag can be found in the Ice Den in Scottsdale, playing forward in a no-checking, men's hockey league. 'I had a hat trick,' he said of a recent game. 'I go out and play hard. We try to win.'" In related news, he also breaths hard and tries to live.

2. He has hatched little Ostertaglings: 'Tag currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his wife Heidi and their three children -- Cody, 15, Bailey, 12, and Shelby, 9. Think about that for a second: This means that Heide has had sex with Greg at least three times...MAYBE MORE. Nightmare fuel, right?

3. Ostertag bakes! HE BAKES!! "[Ostertag] spends most of his time playing golf (he's a 3-handicap) on Scottsdale's best courses, playing hockey, making cakes for any occasion and watching his son Cody, a 6-5 sophomore, play basketball at Scottsdale Christian Academy. While watching his son play in a recent summer-league game, Ostertag shuffles through his cell phone to display a slide show of his cakes -- a Cardinals-Steelers Super Bowl cake, a wedding cake, his daughter Shelby's swim cake. 'Just learning how to make the icing, color the icing, the shapes, how to draw, that's the hard part,' Ostertag said. 'I just get an idea in my head and go from there. My handwriting isn't that great.' ... Ostertag gained his love for baking from watching his mother make cakes when he was a child. 'Just from watching her, I learned how to do it,' Ostertag said. 'I've made some for my kids for their birthdays. I made a couple for my mom for her birthdays.' He doesn't sell them. It's just a passion." I swear I didn't make that last part up.

4. Greg wants to make an NBA comeback...and thinks he can: "Ostertag, 36, gets his kicks on the ice and in the kitchen and longs for the game that provided a life of luxury. 'I know I can still play,' said Ostertag, whose wife is from the Valley. 'It's just a matter of getting back into shape. I can still play. I can put in 10 or 15 minutes a game, get some rebounds and block some shots. Young teams aren't going to pick me up,' Ostertag said. 'A veteran team looking for somebody to give them 10-15 minutes, go in there and bang with other guys, that would be the team.'" Memo to Danny Ainge: Greg Ostertag is awaiting your call.

5. People still talk trash to him...even his 15-year-old son and his son's coach: "[Ostertag] says his only basketball comes during open gyms at Scottsdale Christian, mostly helping high school players develop low-post techniques. [Scottsdale Christian coach Bob Fredericks] said that Cody has some of his father's athletic mean streak in him. 'I'm actually looking forward to being a little bit better than he was,' Cody said. 'If he makes a comeback, I want to teach him some of the moves I'm teaching his son,' Fredericks said." Ouch.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Labels: , ,

25 Comments:
Blogger BadDave said...
Ostertag and Minute Bol.

The all NBA Hockey Team Captains. Like these guys.

Blogger Buck Nasty said...
The Passion of the Ostertag: Hat Tricks and Pastries.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Can't Ostertag just hurry up and do Dancing With the Stars already?

Blogger Cortez said...
"mostly helping high school players develop low-post techniques."

BBBWWWWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

"Inflammable means flammable? What a country!"

Dr. Nick Rivera

Blogger chris said...
Wild Yams: I see Ostertag as more likely for one of those awful VH1 celeb-reality shows...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I don't know, I still think Greg could put up the same numbers as Kobe or Lebron if he had the right team around him...

Anonymous kazam92 said...
What are Ostertag's career highs? What poor saps were subjected to a 20 pt 15 rebound game by the big O (I'm guessing nobody)

Blogger chris said...
kazam92:

Well...

Let's see:

http://www.nba.com/playerfile/greg_ostertag/printable_player_files.html

- 25 point career high in 2001 against the suns
- 11 blocks and 9 rebounds against the Sixers in 1998

Blogger Dan said...
I tried to find a Greg Ostertag highlight video on Youtube, but this is the only thing I could find:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tz1iEvTYKWs

Blogger Will said...
chris and kazam- I remember 'Tag having a 20-20 in playoffs against the Kings and me and my friends mocked the Kings for allowing such a thing to happen

Anonymous DKH said...
Fun facts via basketball reference:

Greg Ostertag had 4 games in which he scored more than 20 points. The high was, indeed, a 25-point performance against the Suns to go with 11 rebounds in 40 minutes (Utah lost). He also had a 21-point, 15-rebound game against the Pacers in 1996 (Utah won). He also had a 21-point game and fouled out in 22 minutes in a 1997 game against Denver.

In the 15-rebounds-and-up category, Ostertag had a 16-point, 20-rebound game against Vancouver in 1996. 11 of those rebounds were offensive. The career high is a 21-rebound performance (13 offensive) against Minnesota in 2003, to go along with 6 blocks and 12 points. Also, Utah won every game in which Ostertag got 15 or more rebounds (8 games!).

He has 41 career double-doubles, and is 0 for 2 on three point shots in games in which he double-doubles. 5 double-doubles came against Sacramento and 5 against the Clippers.

He attempted ten 3-pointers in his career (all in different games). He made one. His teams were 6-4 in games in which Ostertag attempted a 3-pointer, but Utah lost the only game in which he made one.

Blocks by the New York Knicks this season: 204
Blocks by Greg Ostertag in 1999-2000 season: 172 (He led the league in "block pct" that year, whatever that is.)
(Of course, others had more than the Knicks on their own, but this is about Greg Ostertag.)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'll never forget the Blazers-Jazz game I attended wherein Ostertag went apeshit, threw Steve Smith in a headlock, got ejected, and punted the basketball 20 rows into the crowd as he left the court.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Just for shits and giggles, I did some research.

Fact 1: Greg scored 20 or more points exactly five times during his career (four times during the regular season, once in the playoffs). His career high of 25 points (on 10-for-11 shooting) occurred during the final game of the 2000-01 season when neither team's starters logged many minutes ('Tag played 40, though).

Bonus to Fact 1: Two of Greg's 20-point games happened in December, the other two in April. Also, the Jazz were 4-1 in those games.

Another bonus to Fact 1: Greg's best playoff game came against the Sacramento Kings on April 26, 2003. He scored 22 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, blocked 5 shots and had 2 steals. His shooting stunk (6-for-15) but he was 10-for-14 from the line. Amazingly, he was Utah's leading scorer and rebounder in that game.

Fact 2: 'Tag had exactly two 20-rebound games, one against the Vancouver Grizzlies in November of '96, one against the Minnesotra Timberwolves in November of 2003. The Jazz were undefeated in those two games.

Fact 3: He had a career-high 6 assists on December 19, 2003 in Boston. I guess Christmas came early.

Fact 4: The Jazz were a perfect 12-0 in games in which Ostertag grabbed at least 13 rebounds.

Fact 5: Greg blocked at least five shots 16 times during the regular season. The Jazz were 15-1 in those games. He blocked five or more shots eight times during the playoffs. The Jazz were 7-1 in those games.

Fact 6: Greg was 0-for-4 on three-pointers during his career.

Fact 7: He fouled out five times during the regular season (the Jazz were 3-2 in those games). He also fouled out five times during the playoffs...and Utah was 4-1 when he did so.

Fact 8: Ostertag had 10 or more offensive boards four times, and the Jazz won three of those games.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Damn it, DKH! I guess we were doing our posts at the same time.

Blogger Buck Nasty said...
Hey Bawful, he says Ostertag attempted 6 more threes than you say he did, and DKH says he made one. Confirmation on Ostertag's three point shooting anyone?

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Buck -- Here's what's weird: His career stats show that he's 1-for-10 for his career, but the Finder function only showed four of them when I sorted by three-pointers. But when I searched by threes it showed all 10. Weird. Anyway, Greg hit his lone three on March 16, 2001 in a 90-87 loss to the Trail Blazers. 'Tag had 7 points and 3 boards in 19 minutes.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I had the pleasure of seeing Ostertag "play" live once (maybe more than once, but this one really stood out). In the game I went to, Ostertag became enraged with a call less than two minutes into the game and threw a fit, which quickly got him two T's and an early shower. I've never seen anyone get thrown out of a game that fast. Here was the AP article on the incident:

Ostertag and Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal got tied up and hooked arms under Utah's basket two minutes in. Believing O'Neal should have been called for a foul, Ostertag shouted at referee Derrick Stafford as teammate Matt Harpring tried to restrain him.

Ostertag fought off Harpring's hold and kept shouting as Stafford called him for a technical. Ostertag charged at Stafford, who called him for a second technical. Sloan came out on the floor as Ostertag flailed his arms trying to get away from the grip of his teammates.

Stafford then ejected Ostertag, who kicked a pile of white towels near the Jazz bench as he stormed off the court. He also yanked a black Lakers banner that covered the tunnel to the locker room, but failed to pull it down.


I remember thinking that night that he just had a case of "Shaq-itis" and didn't feel like playing a full game against The Big Asshole, not that I blame him. But how else could he be so angry that early in a game as to go so crazy like that just cause he thought the foul should have been on Shaq? It was really odd. Funny as hell to watch though :)

Blogger El Conquistador said...
...

Fact 9: In Danish, Ostertag is pronunced like "Cheese attack".

thats why he's always been a favorite of mine when playing NBA live back in the days.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Ahaha, I used to skate at that ice rink. I feel like a part of the 'Tag is in me. I mean his history. I mean...

Bawful: Sorting after searching only sorts upto the current 100 results on the page. Yay data tables!

Blogger BadDave said...
What - so a cheese attack is in you? Talk about some messed up cheez whiz.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Ostertag facts FTW

Blogger chris said...
Wow, that last sentence in #4, Bawful, sounds pretty raunchy for 'tag...

Anonymous Wormboy said...
"My handwriting isn't that great."

I wonder if handwriting uses the same muscles as shooting? I'm just saying....


Greg Ostertag: one reason why I'll never be a Kansas fan.

Greg Ostertag (And Manut Bol): proof that being over 7 feet tall is an automatic ticket to the NBA and big salaries.



Sometimes I contemplate the failure of the Jazz to beat Jordan's Bulls in two tries. And I then think of how easy it would have been to pick up a couple of journeymen centers on the cheap who could have done just as well, and probably better. I'm sure the Mailman has nightmares about this at least once a week.

And then I think about Erik Dampier, and how history repeats itself. A mediocre center with a big contract keeping his team from winning a championship. It's gotta hurt, man.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
It actually concerns me how much this article knows about him and his retired life haha I go to Scottsdale Christian Academy and the fact that you knew where his kids go, who the coach was and stuff is kinda weird.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
You think that's weird? Look what I found. This is a really popular product line too. Scroll to the Bottom to see O-Tag, WTF!!!!

www.smokehousesalt.com

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