By Brandon Pope | BSU at the Games
In a year when injury concerns and offseason surgeries are shaking up Team USA’s Olympic roster, another integral player may be missing come tip-off time in July. According to NBA.com, Dwyane Wade has mixed feelings on playing in the 2012 London Games. The Miami Heat guard cites his health as the reason for his indecision.
“I’m just going to see how I feel,” Wade said. “This is about being healthy—I think, for all of us, going into the summer healthy—and taking it from there.”
At 30 years old, Wade has reason to be concerned about wear and tear on his body. The all-star guard has dealt with several minor injuries during his last two seasons in the NBA. Wade has been a member of the last two USA National Teams, winning gold in 2008 and bronze in 2004.
USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo believes the team will be prepared if Wade decides to sit out for the Games.
“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. We do have a lot of flexibility because we have guys who can play so many positions.”
Wade’s uncertainty is more bad news for Team USA, which has already seen Lamarcus Aldridge, Chauncey Billups, Dwight Howard, Kevin Love, Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose crossed off the roster due to serious injuries this season. Lakers Center Andrew Bynum will also be missing the Olympic Games, opting to have offseason knee surgery in Germany.
“We’re going to have to have guys step up,” LeBron James said last week. “Dwight is a big part of our team. We was looking forward to having D-Rose on our team at the point guard. So we’re going to have to have guys step up in training camp and relish the opportunity.”
The U.S. will still have plenty of talent left. Recently, University of Kentucky Forward Anthony Davis and Oklahoma City Thunder Guard James Harden were added to the finalists’ roster. The Americans will still have some of the best players in the world in Kobe Bryant, Lebron James and Kevin Durant on their squad. Carmelo Anthony and Russel Westbrook will also load those wing spots.
Colangelo remains confident that Team USA can claim gold in London this summer, despite all the injuries.
“When we went to Beijing, we had one gold medal winner in the room, and that was Jason Kidd,” he said Sunday. “Now, we have, what? Eight or nine from the two teams? And it’s not like we’re starting from scratch. They’re all indoctrinated. They all know what to expect.”
The final 12-man roster for the USA Men’s Basketball National Team is expected to be announced on July 7 or 8.
Brandon Pope is a sophomore telecommunications and journalism major at Ball State University covering fencing, volleyball and basketball for BSU at the Games. Follow Brandon and the BSU team at @bpopeizdope, @bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.