The Lakers and Boston Celtics hate each other, an animosity that extends into the front offices of the two teams. ...
The teams talked last week about a trade for Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, though nothing was close to accomplished and discussions dried up.
The Lakers are unwilling to trade Pau Gasol for Rondo, making a deal with Boston unlikely before the trade deadline Thursday.
“Unless they give up Gasol, they’re not going to get a top-level point guard,” said a person familiar with the situation but not authorized to discuss it publicly.
Rondo had 24 points and 10 assists in the Lakers’ 97-94 victory Sunday over Boston at Staples Center. Gasol had 13 points and 13 rebounds.
A more likely acquisition would be Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley, though the Lakers weren’t willing to give up the first-round draft pick they received from Dallas in the Lamar Odom trade, among other unspecified conditions currently holding up a Beasley deal.
Beasley, 23, is expendable because the Timberwolves are giving more time to rookie Derrick Williams.
The second pick in the 2008 draft, Beasley is earning $6.3 million in the last year of his contract. He is averaging 11.6 points and 4.7 rebounds but is prone to outbursts on offense, recently scoring 27 against the Clippers.
Kobe Bryant reiterated his belief that the trade deadline couldn’t pass quickly enough for the Lakers.
“I think it will have a great effect,” he said. “Guys can just go out and play instead of waking up and checking their phones all the time to make sure they didn’t miss a call from their agent.”
Bryant and Celtics forward Kevin Garnett spoke briefly after the game Sunday.
“There’s always going to be a special bond between us just because we were the first to make the jump from high school,” Bryant said.
Interestingly, Bryant added, “Truth be told, if you look at all the players that came out of high school, they’ve probably done better over the years than guys who have gone to college. Facts are facts.”
Lakers Coach Mike Brown has an unlikely ally — his Celtics counterpart.
Boston Coach Doc Rivers almost felt bad while talking about the tough hand Brown was handed before this season. He didn’t specifically mention the nixed Chris Paul trade and the ensuing Odom deal, but it was implied.
“It made Mike’s job almost impossible early on,” Rivers said. “Walking in to coach a team, you’ve had your preseason talks with them and have them all bought in. Then a trade happens where three or four of them are involved with it and one of them gets rejected. It’s tough to trust after [that]. I wouldn’t want to be in that situation.”
Rivers is optimistic the Celtics will be better in the playoffs. “I guarantee the Lakers feel the same way,” he said. “We know there are favorites in the East and we know there are favorites in the West. We haven’t deserved to be one. Neither have they yet. But it’s 0-0 when the playoffs start. If both teams are healthy, you just never know.”
Robinson felt ill
Frank Robinson, a baseball Hall of Famer, left the Lakers-Celtics game after experiencing dizziness.
Robinson, 76, received unspecified medical attention at the arena but did not go to a hospital and was resting comfortably in his Los Angeles-area home after leaving the game, according to a Staples Center spokesman.
Robinson played most of his career with Cincinnati and Baltimore. He also played for the Dodgers (1972) and Angels (1973-74).
Times correspondent Mark Medina contributed to this report.