Kobe Bryant wrote a letter in the Players’ Tribune and talked some sense into his 17-year-old self as he entered the NBA. It would be nice if everyone could guide themselves through early adulthood with perspective gained in their 30s and 40s.
For example, when you buy your parents and siblings cars and houses because you love them, he says, you are “actually holding them back.” Invest in their futures and help them realize their dreams, he says, rather than give them what they want and before they become addicted to your money.
It was the right message, and commendable, but the 37-year-old Bryant didn’t go far enough. He should have made sure young Kobe learned from his own mistakes such as an affair with a woman that led to a financial settlement, arrogance and immaturity that fueled his feud with Shaquille O’Neal.
Nobody is perfect. We’ve all made mistakes. But when passing along lessons to a younger generation, it’s important to stress there’s more to life than money and fame.