Yep. He looks ready for NBA action. As long as he's watchingit from an easy chair. And not moving. Or breathing.
Back in June, I mentioned that former Basketbawful mascot Greg Ostertag was alive and jonesing to play in the NBA again
. Well, as a great many of you have pointed out via comments and e-mails, the first phase or Project Comeback is complete. Thanks to the Portland Trail Blazers
Greg Ostertag is looking to make a return to the NBA.But wait, there's more
The former Jazz center, who retired from the game three years ago, was invited to work out for the Trail Blazers last week.
"I just miss it," Ostertag told the Journal-World.
"Watching the playoffs last year got me excited. My wife said, 'Why not go try it again?' One day I said, 'What the heck. I'll get in shape and get back on the court and give it a try.'
"I've got nothing to lose."
Portland is the only team that has entertained the idea of giving Ostertag a shot.
"I did all right. I'm rusty. I'd not picked up a ball seriously in three years," added Ostertag. "I have some cobwebs. The more I play, the quicker I'll get it back. Now I'm trying to get in good shape and get stronger. The basketball will come."
"Size, blocking shots and putbacks, setting screens, not letting anybody get easy layups," Ostertag said of what he can bring to the table. "Nobody ever put the ball in my hand and said, 'Go to work,'" Ostertag said of scoring.
Ostertag, who made $48,251,390 during his days in the NBA, isn't money-motivated right now. He's been frugal with his earnings and is set for life financially.
"The more I get into it, the more I want to play," Ostertag said. "I've been working hard since June to get weight off to where I can be productive. I'm in the mode I don't want to work this hard for nothing. I want to get my feet planted somewhere, get in veterans camp, and in the preseason maybe somebody will like what they see."
Chris Emens, senior director of Octagon Basketball, an agency that represents Ostertag, believes his client can be an asset to the Blazers or any other NBA team.
"Greg brings interior defense, rebounding, shot-blocking, playoff and championship-game experience and most importantly for teams in contention, he knows how to win," Emens said.
Most NBA teams are expected to carry just 13 or 14 players this season because of budgetary concerns, instead of the maximum-allotted number of 15.
"It depends if somebody has room," Ostertag said. "I'm not asking for 30 minutes, but give me a chance to compete for playing time, that's all.
"If I don't make an NBA roster, I'll go back to what I was doing -- hunting, golfing, fishing," added Ostertag, who isn't interested in playing in Europe or the NBA Developmental League.
My gut instinct is to say it's never gonna happen. But as someone recently said
: limits, like fears, are often an illusion. So, personally speaking, my fingers are crossed. And now Greg Oden has to worry about a second white stiff stealing his PT.
Labels: Greg Ostertag, improbable comebacks