It's not quite 2010 this time around for Lakers and Celtics

It's not quite 2010 this time around for Lakers and Celtics
Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, who is 28, will be a free agent next July. (Mike Lawrie / Getty Images)

Bad record. Passive defense. Hot-and-cold offense.

The Lakers and Boston Celtics have a lot in common, two teams muddling through downtrodden days after meeting in the NBA Finals just 4½ years ago.

Kobe Bryant will be the only Lakers player left from that 2010 Finals, Rajon Rondo the only Celtics holdover when they play Friday at TD Garden.

"That's crazy," Bryant said Wednesday night. "That is absolutely crazy. Time flies."


Maybe that's why they were seen having breakfast together Thursday. Rondo, 28, will be a free agent next July, and Bryant is a long-time admirer of the Celtics point guard.

Maybe they were simply reliving past times. The good ol' days when championships were at stake, not lottery position.

But now Kevin Garnett barely scores seven points a game for Brooklyn. Washington forward Paul Pierce enjoyed old-fashioned trash talk with Bryant in Wednesday's game until leaving with a sore toe. Tony Allen is still a defense-first player for Memphis.

Eddie House, Brian Scalabrine and Rasheed Wallace? Out of the league. Ray Allen? The same. For now.

It's somehow more dismal to go through the Lakers' roster from that 2010 championship team.

Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom are out of the league. Same for Metta World Peace and Sasha Vujacic. Pau Gasol is still going strong in Chicago and Jordan Farmar logs 15 minutes a game as the Clippers' backup point guard. Derek Fisher is coaching the Knicks and Luke Walton is an assistant coach with Golden State.

"It's just the nature of the beast, man," Bryant said. "That's what happens. The cycle of careers. In my case, you're with an organization for almost 20 years, you see more of those cycles. It's just part of it."

The Lakers (5-14) tend to avoid downward cycles as a franchise, experiencing only four losing seasons since 1976. They're in one now and so are the Celtics (5-11) despite existing in the extraordinarily weaker Eastern Conference.

The Celtics are 3-7 at TD Garden, the Lakers 3-6 on the road, and it's anyone's guess how Friday night turns out.

They've actually been basement brothers since last season — when the Celtics finished with the fifth-worst record and the Lakers were right there at sixth-worst.

There's one thing the Celtics have that the Lakers don't — first-round draft picks. Lots of them.

The Lakers still owe Phoenix and Orlando one each for Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. Boston, on the other hand, has an extra three over the next four years thanks to trading Garnett and Pierce and letting Doc Rivers coach the Clippers.

Arrest in Ellington case

An arrest was made Thursday in the fatal shooting of Wayne Ellington's father.

Philadelphia resident Carl White, 34, was arrested on a murder charge in connection with last month's death of Wayne Ellington Sr., 57, who was found in a car with a gunshot to his head in a Philadelphia suburb. He was taken to a hospital and died there.

An argument for an unspecified reason sparked the incident, police said.

Ellington took an 11-day leave of absence from the Lakers to mourn his father's death.

Twitter: @Mike_Bresnahan