Ratliff looks to play 15th season

Published 9:59 pm Friday, June 12, 2009

With his 14th NBA season in the rearview mirror, Theo Ratliff’s view of the future included no talk of retirement earlier this week.

“I feel great,” Ratliff said. “I went through a lot of different types of injuries. But I always come back strong. I still love that competitive atmosphere. Basketball is still my sanctuary. Even at 36, it continues to be my sanctuary.”

Ratliff, a two-time NBA All-Star center, has spent time with the Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers, Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trailblazers, Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves.

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The 2008-2009 season saw him average 12.6 minutes, one block and 2.8 rebounds over 46 games in his second tour of duty with the Sixers.

Ratliff, regarded as one of the top shot-blocking centers in the league throughout the bulk of his career, averages 7.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.5 blocks.

“I still have that itch for the game,” Ratliff said. “If my wife blesses, I can keep going. I have young kids who are getting into the game more. They’re excited to see me playing.”

An Atlanta resident, Ratliff said his decision of where to play next season will hinge on a number of factors. Included among those is the strength of the team on which he would play.

“That’s definitely a major factor in what I look for, a team that has that potential of being a consistent team in the league,” Ratliff said.

Ratliff, who is very close with his family, has spent much of the past two seasons away from home as he has continued his career.

“It’s a big adjustment,” he said. “It’s a part of my life that is obviously a huge and main part of my life. But you make sacrifices for what you have to do.”