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With the 2012 Summer Olympics approaching, Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade is unsure whether he will try to help the US team defend its gold medal. Wade told NBA.com that health concerns could keep him out of the Olympics.
Wade said his Olympic teammates have been pushing him hard to appear in this year's London Olympics. "Kobe [Bryant] was like, 'if my old self is playing, you can,'" Wade said.
But Wade is concerned that he might not be healthy enough to compete in London. "I told them, I said, listen, I'm just going to see how I feel," he said. "This is about being healthy -- I think, for all of us, going into the summer healthy -- and taking it from there."
Wade missed 17 games during the regular season due to a variety of ailments. He sat out nine games early in the season with a sore foot and sprained ankle. In April, Wade missed time due to both a sore knee and a dislocated finger.
Jerry Colangelo, director of USA Basketball, said it is not unusual for a number of players to be unsure about the Olympics, but he thinks Wade will play. "You could, today, probably come up with 10 or 11 that look pretty solid unless something happens," he said. "Wade's one of those guys, but if he feels like he doesn't have anything left or doesn't think he can go, then we'll make a decision as to who replaces him."
In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Wade was part of the team that brought home a gold medal for the U.S. for the first time since 1996. Current Heat teammates LeBron James and Chris Bosh were also a part of the "Redeem Team," as the squad was dubbed, and both are expected back in London this year.
The U.S. team already has to deal with injuries PGs Derrick Rose and Chauncey Billups as well as C Dwight Howard. All three will be unable to compete in London. Howard was the starting center on the 2008 gold medal team.
Wade recently came under fire for suggesting that basketball players be compensated for appearing in Olympic play. He later clarified that he was not asking to be paid to represent the U.S. in the Olympics, tweeting, "I’m looking forward to doing it again in London this summer."