Greg Ostertag hasn't played basketball in quite some time, but the former starting center for the Utah Jazz has now officially took the first step toward his NBA comeback. The 38-year-old signed with the NBA Development League last week and was claimed by the Texas Legends, D-Legaue affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks, on Tuesday.
The team also acquired Jerome Randle and Drew Neitzel on Tuesday after the guards were cut by the Mavericks in training camp. A couple of players have returned from NBA training camp to sign with the Legends, too, with Matt Rogers (Indiana Pacers) and Jamal Sampson (Boston Celtics) being added back to the roster.
Ostertag hasn't played in the NBA since retiring following the 2005-06 season, but has flirted with an NBA comeback over the past few years -- getting this close to playing for the Legends last season, in fact. The 7-foot-2 center officially took the plunge by signing a D-League contract last week, though, and will now start his journey back toward the Association.
The Texas native talked to the Dallas Morning News regarding his comeback, and it sounds like he believes there's a chance at making the big leagues one more time before officially hanging up his sneakers for good.
"I missed playing," Ostertag said. "I shouldn't have quit when I did and I feel like I got to give it one last shot to see if I can make it happen. I know there's a lot of naysayers out there who think I couldn't play when I was younger and how am I going to be able to play now? But I'm going to give myself a month or two to get in really good shape and see what happens."
The Legends will play the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Thursday night followed by the Tulsa 66ers on Friday with Ostertag expected to be in attendance.