by John Hobbs / @johnswisshobbs
Dwyane Wade is enjoying the Olympic experience, but admits that he wishes he was out there playing with Team USA this summer.
In what would have been Wade’s international swansong at the Olympic Games, he instead opted for knee surgery, as the Heat look to defend their Championship crown next season.
Wade admits, though, to being frustrated while watching Team USA, who has stormed its way to the semi-finals after defeating Australia last night at the North Greenwich Arena.
“You know I’m a competitor,” Wade said. “I watch games and I’m like, Damn I should be there, I can see myself out there. And in that sense I wish I was there. It would have been special as this would have been my last Olympics, but at the same time, they got a lot of great guys on the team and the game is in great hands.
“You see the young guys—they’ve filled in for guys that couldn’t play so I got them ready to go. I don’t know about you, but I got them ready to go as a team and they’re growing. They’re doing a great job, whether they’re winning by 83 or four or five, they’re finding ways to win and it’s good.”
LeBron James grabbed USA Basketball’s first triple-double last night, as he filled the stat sheet with 11 points, 11 assists and 14 rebounds, something that Wade isn’t surprised about.
“LeBron is one of the greatest players in the world, and he has the ability to help the team win. As you can see, he can turn it on scoring-wise, get assists, rebounds. And right now, he’s doing whatever it takes it help his team win.”
Team USA has really been tested once: a 99-94 win over Lithuania. But en route to the semi-finals, they smashed scoring records and entertained crowds. Wade believes that the real Team USA will come out in the later rounds.
“Hopefully that we’re in the medal rounds, the exhibitions are over because it’s win or go home,” Wade admitted. “But what you have to understand is that the other teams are so excited to play the USA and they give it their all. The good thing about Team USA is that we are the other team so we wear them down and make them crack.”
The Heat star has played the role of fan during these Olympics, cheering USA on whenever he can, as they hunt for back-to-back Gold medals.
But what Wade learned in the 2004 and 2008 Games is the true power of sport. It is so much more than basketball—he enjoyed mingling with different athletes from all nations. Wade appreciated the different sports that the Olympics had to offer, and now that he has some free time, he’s been copping tickets to sports other than basketball.
Wade has a big appreciation for soccer and has tickets for the Gold medal women’s game.
“I know nothing about the soccer but I kind of want to go and feel the experience and see if I can come up with a better appreciation of how great those guys are—both men and the women obviously as athletes, but how great the game is because it’s so big in the world so we’ll see. I’m looking forward to it,” Wade explained.
He’ll have every reason to cheer as well; USA will be squaring off against Japan in the soccer Gold medal game.
But with Wade enjoying the Olympic Games here in London, he knows that it won’t be long before he returns to training camp in Miami. Wade has successfully completed knee surgery for the third time and is excited to get back on to court.
“My knee is doing well,” he said. “I was nervous going into my third knee surgery—I didn’t want to do it again. But once I came out I was very excited because I didn’t feel any more pain and I was able to start my rehab the next day, so I’m very excited about it.”