Pop quiz, hotshot.
What last name do you think of when you hear the name Theo?
I'll bet you a thousand Klaw Coins that it's one of the following three:
- Huxtable (if you're over 25)
- Epstein (if you're a baseball geek)
- Ratliff (if you love the NBA more than television or MLB)
Yes, Theo Ratliff is the next stop on our march from Calvin Booth to Kevin Garnett, as we revisit every Timberwolf in order of minutes played. Of the 32 players profiled to date, Ratliff and Brad Miller are the only two I would say had very good NBA careers. But I decided to test this thesis by looking up the career WS/48 for all 32 short-term Wolves.
MP NAME WS/48
1 - Calvin Booth .086
5 - Jason Hart .078
5 - Trevor Winter .045
8 - Paul Grant -.043
13 - Nikoloz Tskitishvili -.039
14 - Jim Thomas .071
17 - Steve Johnson .095
20 - Dan Godfread .129
23 - Myron Brown .032
24 - Brian Evans .076
25 - Alando Tucker .045
29 - Maurice Ager -.089
30 - Clifford Rozier .063
39 - Charles Smith .076
45 - Maurice Evans .096
46 - Corey Williams .037
59 - Sam Jacobson .071
65 - Sundiata Gaines .052
65 - Quincy Lewis .020
66 - Anthony Goldwire .062
86 - Ndudi Ebi .051
89 - Gundars Vetra .070
91 - Adrian Branch .070
92 - Stanley Jackson .102
110 - Bob Thornton .018
112 - Tom Garrick .060
127 - Gary Leonard .029
139 - Askia Jones -.021
146 - Brad Miller .150
150 - DeJuan Wheat .034
200 - Andres Guibert -.057
214 - Theo Ratliff .112
Miller indeed has the best score, well above Ratliff, who also shakes out as an above average player. The only other guys to crack .100, Godfread and Jackson, played very few minutes in the NBA, meaning the sample size is way too small to be reliable.
Overall, this list of fairly anonymous basketball players fared much better than I expected. So many of them fall in the .060-.080 range - which is not starter quality, but is decent bench meat material. Only three guys produced negative numbers, the worst being the most recent profilee, Andres Guibert.
Back to Ratliff. He had a long, productive NBA career that ended just a few years ago, so I don't feel the need to do a detailed bio. I will, however, share a few random things I came across, including this clip:
- His first name is Theophilus, which is Greek for "Friend of God."
- He was born in Demopolis (AL), which means "City of the People."
- He played in Minneapolis, which means "City of Water" in Dakota/Greek.
- He owned (and perhaps still does; it's unclear) the Rome Gladiators of the World Basketball Association.
- 1 All-Star team, 2 All-Defensive Teams, 3 times NBA block leader, 11 teams played for, 18th pick in 1995.
- Was a part of separate trades for Garnett, Mutombo, Rasheed Wallace, Stackhouse and Randy Foye.
- His Twitter handle is @shotblocker42
- Has six kids with his wife, Christina.