Prior to Sunday night’s finale of The Last Dance, Ahmad Rashad got together with 20+ NBA legends on a video call on the NBA’s social channels for an “Inside Stuff 90’s Reunion.” The call went as smoothly as one would expect with that many people, as every time someone new entered the room everything went off the rails as they all excitedly greeted each other once again.
While it wasn’t the ideal format for telling stories or for Rashad to get actual interview questions in, it was highly entertaining just to watch that many Hall of Famers interacting and talking amongst themselves as old friends do. After about 30 minutes of everyone talking over each other, things did start to fall into a groove with the assistance of Charles Barkley of all people getting things on track despite the best efforts of Shaq — who was smoking hookah for much of the proceedings after beginning the call from the bathroom.
Barkley joked about how some of them, like he, Dominique Wilkins, Mitch Richmond, and others didn’t have other Hall of Famers to play with during their careers and were jealous of folks like Karl Malone and John Stockton. He then prompted everyone to recall the one player they had been teammates with that they had been sure was going to be a star whenever they “got it,” but never did. It was the first question everyone genuinely answered and discussed, and the funniest of them was Karl Malone telling the story of how Shaq punked a young Greg Ostertag and literally slapped him so hard his contact fell out after Ostertag talked too much as a rookie.
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
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) May 18, 2020
Shaq, of course, was delighted by Malone’s recollection of this story, and you could still hear the disappointment in Malone’s voice that Ostertag never went back at Shaq that night, despite the Mailman’s promise to pay whatever fine he got. It’s quite the story and also offers a bit of NBA trivia as to why the league changed the rule as to keeping teams from being on the court at the same time for shootaround. While it was an interesting segment and discussion of players that never lived up to their full potential, Ostertag and the others surely weren’t exactly thrilled that’s how their names came up on this call.