Wade still focusing on playing in Olympics
MIAMI -- Dwyane Wade has a message for USA Basketball: He'll be ready for the Olympics.
The Miami Heat guard, who led his team to the 2006 NBA title and has been saddled with injuries for much of the two seasons since, reiterated Thursday that he expects to be physically ready to compete in training camps with the team this summer and then play when the squad heads to Beijing for the Olympics in August.
"I really want to stress to them that I really want to be a part of this team, badly," Wade said. "I've been waiting four years for this opportunity. So I'll do everything I can to make sure that I'm hopefully ready enough to go out there and play. And if I'm not, they should move on and get somebody else. But I'm not looking at that as being the case."
Wade has missed 31 games in each of the past two seasons with a variety of injuries and was held out of the final 21 games this season because of ongoing problems with his surgically repaired left knee.
He has taken the last five weeks essentially off and will resume workouts May 5 in Chicago -- which, he says, will give him enough time to be ready when USA Basketball summons its roster of Olympic hopefuls to a minicamp in Las Vegas starting June 27.
"They can come and watch me work out and start that process if they want to," Wade said.
Wade said he plans to be based in Chicago and working out there for much of the summer, although he will be in South Florida from time to time and has also asked to represent the Heat at the NBA draft lottery on May 20 in Secaucus, N.J.
Earlier this week, at the U.S. Olympic media summit in Chicago, USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said he and coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke were "curious" to know where Wade is physically.
Colangelo added that he expects all players on the U.S. roster to be "in really good shape" when they report to Las Vegas in June.
"We need to get a good idea where our players are, so it might not be until then that we really, truly know," Colangelo said. "We plan to visit with him and get as much info as we can."
Wade, who was part of the U.S. bronze medal-winning squad at the Athens Games four years ago, said he's eager to answer whatever Colangelo wants to ask.
"When I go to Chicago, of course I will meet with him face to face, but I'd like to get on the phone with him before then," Wade said. "We have a great relationship and I understand their concerns. My job is to talk to them and give them my point of view, they can give me theirs, and we'll go from there."
Wade finished this season averaging 24.6 points, which would have been sixth-best in the NBA if he played in enough games to qualify for the rankings.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press