Today, retired LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant wrote a letter to his younger self in The Players’ Tribune to talk about how he would change about the relationships with his family once he made it to the NBA.
Dear 17-year-old self,
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.
Use your success, wealth and influence to put them in the best position to realize their own dreams and find their true purpose. Put them through school, set them up with job interviews and help them become leaders in their own right. Hold them to the same level of hard work and dedication that it took for you to get to where you are now, and where you will eventually go.
Kobe specifically went on to single out his parents in the second half of the letter.
The next time I write to you, I may touch on the challenges of mixing blood with business. The most important advice I can give to you is to make sure your parents remain PARENTS and not managers.
Before you sign that first contract, figure out the right budget for your parents — one that will allow them to live beautifully while also growing your business and setting people up for long-term success. That way, your children’s kids and their kids will be able to invest in their own futures when the time comes.
Your life is about to change, and things are about to come at you very fast. But just let this sink in a bit when you lay down at night after another nine-hour training day.
Trust me, setting things up right from the beginning will avoid a ton of tears and heartache, some of which remains to this day.
According to ESPN, Kobe hasn’t spoken to his parents in three years after they tried to auction off his high school memorabilia without his consent.
After reading Kobe’s letter it doesn’t seem like his relationship with his parents is going to get better anytime soon.