It's a great accomplishment for Bryant, but shooting to pass Shaq and making that a goal was the latest selfish act we've seen from Bryant.
Bryant's always made it known that he wants to be the greatest Laker player ever and O'Neal acknowledged that wish last night by offering congratulations after Bryant's jump shot from 23 feet with 5:08 left in the first half gave him the 24 points he needed to pass O'Neal.
The selfish part though has nothing to do with passing Shaq. He was going to do that anyway very soon.
It's just that throughout his career, everything has always had to be about himself. If Bryant's not happy with the Lakers, he will let you know about it for sure. It doesn't matter if it's been running down teammates in the media or demanding a trade when not happy. Bryant has always been a selfish player.
Sometimes though, that's not entirely a bad thing.
It's been that selfishness and his desire to be the best that's fueled Bryant. Without it, he wouldn't have been the same player.
However, it backfired last night.
Once Bryant got the number he needed to pass Shaq, he killed the Lakers the rest of the game.
He helped shoot the Lakers out of the game, scoring only four points the rest of the night, finishing 10-for-28 from the floor; including a woeful 1-for-10 from the floor in the fourth quarter.
Despite a 55-30 rebounding edge, the Lakers fell to 14-11 on the season and a lousy 3-9 mark on the road.
Yet, the important thing to talk about was the fact that Bryant passed Shaq.
A win probably would have been a better story.