Ostertag: NBA Is "Glorified Street Ball"

"It's hard for me to watch," Ostertag said

Taz and the Moose
May 09, 2018 - 9:48 am

USA Today Images


Greg Ostertag was a first-round pick, played in the NBA for more than a decade, and twice reached the NBA Finals. And yet, he doesn’t watch many NBA games these days.

“I got to be honest: I don’t watch a whole lot of basketball,” Ostertag said on Taz & The Moose. “It is a different game from when I played. To me, it’s a lot more fast-paced, up-tempo, three-point shooters, no ball screens, don’t know how to play ball screens, no defense. I grew up in the Jerry Sloan era where you’re going to play defense and you’re going to set screens. It’s just a different game. It’s glorified street ball to me. It’s hard for me to watch. I’ll watch it occasionally, but I don’t go out of my way to watch it.”

Ostertag could have been a part of back-to-back championship teams, but Michael Jordan got in the way. Jordan led the Bulls to Finals wins over the Jazz in 1997 and 1998, beating Utah in six games both times.

While Ostertag is highly impressed with LeBron James, Jordan remains the best player of all time, at least to him.

“I would still have to go with Michael,” Ostertag said. “Michael was pretty phenomenal. I can’t take anything away from LeBron because the guy’s put on a show the last four games. What can you say? He basically carried them through that four-game sweep, and it was fun to watch.”

Game 2, especially. James shot 19-of-28 from the floor and finished with 43 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds in a 128-110 Cleveland win.

“That was incredible,” Ostertag said. “He couldn’t miss. They had no answer for him. Double-teaming him, he was still scoring. He had their last 47 points, I think. it was fun to watch. It’s just a different game from when I played.”

Ostertag said it was an “honor” to play against Jordan and the other greats of his era.

“It was an honor obviously because I get to play against what is probably the greatest player in the history of the game,” he said. “To go out there and be on the court with guys like Michael and Karl (Malone) and John (Stockton) and (Charles) Barkley, it was the dream of a lifetime.”