With his NBA career over, Kobe Bryant has moved into a new era in his life as a storyteller — and his latest tale is an emotional roller coaster.
Bryant, who’s the Editorial Director for player-centric website “The Players’ Tribune,” wrote a rather vague letter to his 17-year-old self on Wednesday. Instead of offering advice on how to handle the league or sharing words of wisdom on how to get along with Shaquille O’Neal, though, Bryant warned young Kobe not to let his riches poison his relationships with his family.
Via The Players’ Tribune:
When your Laker dream comes true tomorrow, you need to figure out a way to invest in the future of your family and friends. This sounds simple, and you may think it’s a no-brainer, but take some time to think on it further.
I said INVEST.
I did not say GIVE.
Bryant writes that in the early days of his NBA career, he would buy family members material things — cars, homes, taking care of their living expenses — which merely made him feel good at the expense of their independence. Rather than use his influence to open doors for his parents and siblings, Bryant says, he got them addicted to material wealth. That, in turn, became a problem when he tried to correct what Bryant saw as a grave mistake.
I’m writing you now so that you can begin this process immediately, and so that you don’t have to deal with the hurt and struggle of weaning them off of the addiction that you facilitated. That addiction only leads to anger, resentment and jealousy from everybody involved, including yourself.
As time goes on, you will see them grow independently and have their own ambitions and their own lives, and your relationship with all of them will be much better as a result.
There’s plenty more I could write to you, but at 17, I know you don’t have the attention span to sit through 2,000 words.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Fox Sports, Andrew Lynch