When Kobe Bryant signed his first pro basketball contract with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996, it made him a millionaire virtually overnight: The three-year contract would pay $3.5 million.
Bryant was 17 at the time, straight out of high school.
He would go on to earn a record $680 million over the course of his career, according to Forbes, which gave the now-retired player a unique perspective on wealth.
"When your Laker dream comes true tomorrow, you need to figure out a way to invest in the future of your family and friends," Bryant recently wrote in a letter to his younger self. "I said INVEST. I did not say GIVE."
"Purely giving material things to your siblings and friends may appear to be the right decision," the 37-year-old continued. "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."