May 8, 2012, 9:51 AM EST
Dwyane Wade sounded slightly less than 100 percent certain he’ll be in London no matter what, even after accepting the invite to what would be his third Olympics after being prodded by his 2008 Beijing teammates (“Kobe was like, ‘if my old self is playing, you can,’” Wade said — and I’m sure Kobe said ‘self’ there, aren’t you?) into putting the band back together one last time.
“I told them, I said, listen, I’m just going to see how I feel,” Wade said last week. “This is about being healthy — I think, for all of us, going into the summer healthy — and taking it from there.”
That actually seemed to catch USA Basketball president Jerry Colangelo off guard.
“You could, today, probably come up with 10 or 11 that look pretty solid unless something happens,” he said by telephone. “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.”
With our without Wade, the USA will be gold medal favorites, with a team likely to include LeBron James, Kobe, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love and on and on. Spain (with the Gasol brothers plus Serge Ibaka on the front like and veterans everywhere else) is the biggest threat to the USA.
In the end, and with some urging from Converse/Nike, I bet Wade goes. If he doesn’t it almost assures recently-added James Harden would make the team as the other two guard (with Kobe). Harden brings playmaking and a game that fits well in international ball, but he still is not Dwyane Wade.
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