The Lakers finished an unlucky Week 13, not only losing four more games to extend their streak to eight, but also losing Kobe Bryant for the season with a torn rotator cuff.
Bryant was injured in a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans (96-80), though the All-Star guard did finish the game while shooting with his left hand. The veteran guard later shared a video of his torn rotator cuff diagnosis.
By week's end, the Lakers were still waiting for a final decision on his fate. But after Bryant saw a specialist Monday, the news came that he would undergo season-ending surgery Wednesday.
Before the shoulder injury, Bryant had acknowledged that retirement had "crossed my mind."
Should he walk away from the final year of his contract voluntarily, the Lakers would have significant cap space this summer.
An online poll conducted late last week by The Times suggested fans believed he should retire, although not everyone agreed.
Former Lakers guard Darius Morris said Thursday he believed Bryant still had a lot left in the tank for another season.
Coach Byron Scott had tried to reduce Bryant's minutes over the past month, hoping to preserve his health.
Meanwhile, Bryant was named an All-Star for the 17th time in his career.
On the court, the short-handed Lakers were swept by the Phoenix Suns (115-100), despite a strong game from Nick Young.
The Lakers also lost to the Spurs, 99-85, in San Antonio.
Scott started rookie Jordan Clarkson at point guard, sitting Jeremy Lin for the game. Clarkson gave a strong performance, but the Lakers continued to lose.
The Lakers fell at home on Sunday to the Houston Rockets, 99-87. James Harden was too much for the Lakers to handle.
Scott benched Young for the second half, after a badly missed defensive assignment.
Clarkson, along with fellow rookie Tarik Black, will be bringing baby dolls to home games, as Scott's version of rookie hazing.
Pelicans star forward Anthony Davis said he loved working with Bryant on the Olympics team.
In an annual report, Forbes named the Lakers as the NBA's most-valuable franchise, worth an estimated $2.6 billion.
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