Kobe Bryant insists it would matter little if the Los Angeles Lakers avoided setting a new franchise record for successive defeats when they face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday.
The Lakers were beaten for a 10th straight game on Sunday as they went down 101-82 to the Charlotte Hornets - matching the losing run they suffered in the 1993-94 NBA season.
However, asked if the game against the Timberwolves represents a must-win given the franchise are on the brink of a new low, Bryant is quoted by ESPN as saying: "Honestly, it doesn't really matter. What, it makes a s****y season less s****y?"
Bryant, who is retiring after 20 seasons with the Lakers, says he is trying to teach the team's younger players not to give in to losing.
"You've got to keep fighting. You've got to keep playing. You've got to keep competing. You can't capitulate to it," he added.
"You keep going hard every single time and sometimes you have seasons like this and it's tough. This is a very competitive league. Every night you're facing top-notch competition. It's tough."
Bryant wants the Lakers to learn from what will be their third consecutive losing season, the first time that has happened since the team's arrival in Los Angeles before the 1960-61 campaign.
"The Navy SEALs have a way of taking guys to the bottom of the pool," he continued.
"Sometimes you've got to go to the bottom of the pool, man, and figure it out. We're almost there. Gasping for air."
The one person Bryant does sympathise with? Coach Byron Scott.
"I've been his friend, his younger brother and his psychiatrist at times," Bryant said.
"It's tough. Byron is as competitive as you can get, man. It's tough."