How Shaquille O’Neal ‘f***ed Greg Ostertag up for the rest of his life,’ per Karl Malone
According to NBA legend Karl Malone, one of his former Utah Jazz teammates was never the same after a harrowing incident with Shaquille O’Neal.
During Inside Stuff’s ’90s Reunion posted prior to the final episodes of ESPN’s “The Last Dance,” Charles Barkley asked the virtual room of 20-plus former players if there were any hoopers in their era who they were surprised didn’t reach stardom, to which Malone brought up Greg Ostertag.
“We had a young man on his way, and we felt we had what we needed,” Karl Malone said about Ostertag, whom the Jazz drafted with the 28th pick in the 1995 NBA Draft. “Until we met Shaq and them in the preseason game in the old Forum and he slapped the man’s contacts out and he f***ed up Greg Ostertag for the rest of his life.”
Malone said the feud originated the year before when the Jazz center “started yacking” during their sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1998 Western Conference Finals.
Prior to the preseason game the following fall, Malone recalled O’Neal warning him that “‘if I see that motherf—er I’m going to slap the s— out of him.'”
“And he is not lying.” the NBA icon furthered. “We’re waiting on (Ostertag) to come out…and Shaq walked right to him. ‘Man, I told you to quit talking that s—.’ Before we could even respond, Ostertag’s on the ground looking for his contact. It ruined him for the rest of our career.”
Shaquille O’Neal and Malone’s longtime Jazz teammate John Stockton were present on the call and corroborated Malone’s story.
Ostertag averaged 4.6 points and 5.5 rebounds during his 11 NBA seasons (10 with Utah).
Watch the Mailman deliver the full anecdote here:
Karl Malone tells the story of when Shaquille O’Neal “f**ked up Greg Ostertag for the rest of his life”. pic.twitter.com/D0xdtb0Kmy
— Sherwob Holmes (@WorldWideWob) May 18, 2020