Tuesday , Sep , 28 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Ratliff signs extension with Portland

Portland, OR (Sports Network) – The Portland Trail Blazers signed center Theo
Ratliff to a five-year contract extension on Tuesday.

Ratliff led the league in blocked shots the last two seasons, playing 32 games
with Blazers last season after he was acquired from Atlanta with Shareef
Abdur-Rahim for Rasheed Wallace.

“We are delighted to have secured the services of Theo Ratliff, perhaps the
best defensive player in the NBA, for the foreseeable future,” said Trail
Blazers General Manager John Nash. “From the time he arrived in Portland, we
identified with Theo’s superior play on the floor and his lifestyle and
character off the court as a member of the Portland community.”

Ratliff posted 7.3 points with 7.3 rebounds with Portland, but it was defense
that the 6-foot-10 center excelled. He established an all-time franchise-best
4.41 blocks a game. In Portland he collected 141 blocked shots. During the
2004 campaign, Ratliff averaged a league-leading 3.61 blocks per game.

“I’m very happy to be here, ” said Ratliff. “My family and I decided that this
was a city we wanted to stay in. I think we have great talent on this team and
we can go far. It’s a great team and a great city.”

However, the defense Ratliff supplied came too late as the Trail Blazers
failed to make the postseason for the first time in 22 seasons.

The 18th overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft by Detroit, Ratliff has netted 8.7
points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.81 blocks in his career with the Pistons,
Philadelphia, Atlanta and Portland.