Remember when ESPN's Bill Simmons reduced Theo Ratliff's NBA relevance to his massive expiring contract?
That was three contracts ago.
That's right, three. The Sixers, who traded Ratliff in 2001, got nostalgic about him once he was available for $1.26 million in 2008. The Bobcats, whose jerseys look to be from the Steve Harvey collection, fittingly brought on the middle-aged shot-blocker last season for roughly the same price. Now, and again at liquidation prices, Ratliff has a deal with the Lakers.
It's amazing how much better a player looks after an 80-plus percent pay cut, isn't it? When Ratliff was pulling down $11.7 million per season -- but just 7.3 boards a game -- he looked like he his knees creaked when he walked. Now, he just needs enough energy to be really tall and play movie-star bingo with Luke Walton during home games.
There's no reason to resent a man for being overpaid, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that a contract more connected with reality looks better on Ratliff. Seeing how he was hurt in '01, which was his previous best chance to win a championship, a ring would shine just as bright at his current salary.