It was inevitable.
Everyone knew Kobe Bryant was going to pass Shaquille O'Neal on the NBA's All-Time Scoring List.
No one envisioned that two days after that happened, the Los Angeles Lakers would decide to retire the Big Diesel's no. 34 jersey in the 2012-13 season.
Kobe passed Shaq for 5th on the all-time list in the Lakers 95-50 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, passing his former teammate in the second quarter.
Solidifying his position among the top five greatest NBA players in history in his home town sure had its nostalgia for Kobe, but if you have watched his career, you know he hates to lose, regardless of how well he does in each contest.
After returning from basketball after the conclusion of the 2010-11 season, it did not appear as though the Lakers might retire Shaq's number as quickly as they have announced, especially with the rifts he has caused after being traded from Los Angeles and settling in destinations such as Phoenix and Boston after helping Dwayne Wade win a ring in Miami.
But the man who played 8 seasons in Purple & Gold and contributed 3 Larry O'Brien trophies to the Lakers collection will now be forever implemented in Laker history when they retire his jersey during the 2012-13 campaign.
Many Laker faithful wondered if Shaq had tarnished his legacy with the Lakers when he signed with donned Celtic colors for the final season of his career.
But It appears winning means more than attempting to win with a team who was a speck when the Lakers won three straight titles and appeared in 4 NBA finals in 5 years.
For now, its back to business for the Lakers, who earlier tonight defeated the Celtics 88-87 in overtime, bouncing back from the loss in Philly.
It has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride so far for the Lakers, who have gone 4-9 on the road and are currently 15-11, a game and a half behind the Clippers for the Pacific Division lead.
While there are 40 games remaining, beginning with the Knicks at Madison Square Garden Friday night, the Lakers will continue to search for the right answers as they continue under Mike Brown, who took over after Phil Jackson retired after the 2010-11 season.
On the all time scoring list, Kobe now sits at 28,601 after his 27-point performance in Boston. He passed Shaq during the second quarter of Monday's contest. Shaq now sits in 6th place with 28,596.
Next on Kobe's list are Wilt Chamberlain (31,419), Michael Jordan (32,292), Karl Malone (36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at the top with 38,387.
Realistically, Kobe can pass Jordan and retire among the top 3 all-time.
But knowing Kobe, the man who scored 81 after knowing he needed to put his team on his back that memorable night in January 2006, he will not stop short of reaching for the top.
For now, we as fans can only sit back and watch as one of the greatest of all time puts on a display we may not see for some time.