Money management can be a learning curve for many athletes, and this was the case for Dwyane Wade.

Wade was drafted to the league in 2003, which is viewed as “one of the greatest draft classes in NBA history,” the league mentions. LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh were also drafted that year. Wade would make his debut with the Miami Heat as the No. 5 overall draft pick, Sports Illustrated reports. He then signed a three-year contract valued at $8.5 million, to The Palm Beach Post.

For Wade, being drafted to the league allowed him to overcome the odds that were stacked against him living in the South Side of Chicago, where he would hear gun shots frequently. At one point, he was being raised by his mother who struggled with addiction and would leave him at home for periods of time, according to Business Insider. When he was 9 he eventually moved to a new neighborhood to be with his father, who had divorced his mother.

“[My father] was militant,” Wade shared during an episode of “Oprah’s Lifeclass” in 2013, per Huff Post. “He kept us out of a lot of trouble because we respected his ‘nos’ and ‘don’ts… But he also put us in sports… It gave me dreams that I probably never had before that.”

Those dreams would take him to the fan-filled stadiums of the NBA. While Wade had a grasp on what it took to succeed in the league, that was not initially translated when it applied to his finances. During an interview with CNBC’s “Make It,” he reveals it tookmore than half a decade in the NBA to learn how to manage his finances.

“I came into the league as someone who had never really handled more than $500 at a time, and [suddenly] I’m making millions of dollars,” he told “Make It.”“…It’s not that I didn’t have good people around me. It’s that no one was making the level of money that I was making. To be able to know what to do, you have to be with people who are on the level that you’re on. And I didn’t do that.”

He also shares that he was too proud to seek guidance from those around him when it pertained to his finances in his early foray into the league.

“I don’t know if I even understood how to listen,” he explained to the outlet.“…You don’t want people to think less of you because you don’t know something like how much money you have or what to do with your money.”

Wade who would go on to play in the league for 16 years and walk away with three championship rings and nearly $200 million in career earnings, hopes the new generation of players are being equipped with the necessary support to avoid some of the mistakes he made.“We talk about wanting athletes to have the opportunity to have generational wealth,” Wade said. “This is where it starts.”