Kobe Bryant announced to the world his intentions to retire from the NBA in a heartfelt letter posted to The Players Tribune which detailed his love for the game of basketball.

The Black Mamba has once again returned to the written medium and the same platform to instill wisdom into the younger generation by referencing what he would have told his 17-year-old self – specifically as it related to mixing family business and money.

“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.”

Kobe Bryant, Letter

While a choice excerpt appears below, head over to The Players Tribune to read his letter in its entirety.

“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.

Let me explain.

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.”

Words by Alec Banks
Features Editor

Alec Banks is a Los Angeles-based long-form writer with over a decade of experience covering fashion, music, sports, and culture.

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