Kobe Bryant pens Players' Tribune letter to younger self about treatment of family and friends

AP Photo/John Bazemore

Kobe Bryant retired in April after 20 years in the league, but that doesn't mean he's done with his past.

On Wednesday, Bryant penned an open letter to his 17-year-old self on The Players' Tribune, with particular focus on how to treat friends and family.

"You need to figure out a way to invest in the future of your family and friends," Bryant wrote. "I said INVEST. I did not say GIVE."

Kobe recently vocalized the rocky relationship he shares with his parents after they attempted to auction off his high school memorabilia.

"Our relationship is s---," Kobe said to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne last April. "I say [to them], 'I'm going to buy you a very nice home, and the response is 'That's not good enough'?" Kobe said. "Then you're selling my s---?"

Bryant did somewhat point the finger at himself for allowing his wealth to "[hold his family and friends] back".

"You will come to understand that you were taking care of them because it made YOU feel good," Bryant wrote. "It made YOU happy to see them smiling and without a care in the world -- and that was extremely selfish of you."

Although Bryant mentioned that the process of "weaning them off" leads to "anger, resentment and jealousy from everybody involved," he has also made clear that his two sisters have reconciled with the fact that he has eliminated finance from their relationship.

"They're very smart, college-educated [women]," Bryant wrote. "I'm really proud of them. They were able to get their own jobs, get their own lives, take care of themselves. Now they have a better sense of self, of who they are as people, instead of being resentful because they were relying on me."

Bryant kept his advice to family and finances -- "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," he wrote. And while Bryant was addressing himself, it's clear the letter was meant as a message for all young athletes who get millions before turning 20.

"Trust me," Bryant wrote, "setting things up right from the beginning will avoid a ton of tears and heartache, some of which remains to this day."

Read the full letter here.