LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — For the first time in two decades, Kobe Bryant isn’t training for the upcoming NBA season. Instead, he’s sharing some wisdom.

In a letter addressed to his 17-year-old self, published by the Players Tribune, Bryant told his younger self to exercise restraint in showering loved ones with money and gifts.

The letter was addressed to himself just as he was making the leap to the NBA from high school, awaiting a massive financial windfall. Kobe’s first Lakers contract paid $3.5 million over three years, and Kobe retired with a record $680 million in earnings, according to Forbes.

“Purely giving material things to your siblings and friends may appear to be the right decision. You love them, and they were always there for you growing up, so it’s only right that they should share in your success and all that comes with it. So you buy them a car, a big house, pay all of their bills. You want them to live a beautiful, comfortable life, right? But the day will come when you realize that as much as you believed you were doing the right thing, you were actually holding them back,” he wrote. “Invest in their future, don’t just give.”

Bryant said the impulse to give is ultimately self-serving. He said a better approach is to encourage his loved ones to strive for “independence and growth.”

Read more of Bryant’s letters to his younger self at CBSLA.com.


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