Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Utah Jazz player Greg Ostertag and Denver Nugget Andre Miller fight for the ball in NBA action Mar. 27, 2004.

DENVER Greg Ostertag's return to professional basketball received mixed reviews from his old team.

Responses ranged from astonishment to questions about Big O's age and intentions, to outbursts of laughter.

Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin was a Utah assistant under Jerry Sloan during the latter part of Ostertag's 11-year NBA career, which ended in 2006.

When asked for his reaction to Ostertag being signed by the D-League's Texas Legends, Corbin simply replied, "Are you serious?"

Corbin then walked off laughing.

Now in his 12th season, Raja Bell played with Ostertag during their first Utah stints. He could only guess that something relit the 7-foot-2 big man's desire to play.

"Basketball's what you know and (when) you're away from it long enough, those fires still burn in you to compete and play," Bell said. "I don't know what his personal situation is, but maybe there's something there that needs to be fulfilled and he's hoping basketball fills that for him."

Perhaps the only player in NBA history with a Fred Flintstone tattoo, the 38-year-old Ostertag told the Dallas Morning News that is indeed the case.

"I missed playing. 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," the Duncanville, Texas, native said.

"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?" he added. "But I'm going to give myself a month or two to get in really good shape and see what happens.''

Who knows. Maybe he'll be the last one laughing.

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