Odds are Dwyane Wade will never again wear “USA” across his chest.
Not as a basketball star on the international stage.
Not with David Stern angling for a 23-and-under approach to future tournaments.
Not with arthroscopic surgery on Wade’s left knee preventing him from making a third career Olympic appearance next month in London.
Part of him is still struggling with that fact, as the Heat star made clear Friday at his annual D. Wade All Star Basketball Camp at Nova Southeastern University.
Photos: Check out pictures from the Miami Heat NBA championship parade
“I’m really going to miss it,” Wade said. “Every time I see the Olympic commercial, something inside me says, ‘Dang, I really would like to be there.’ “
Chris Bosh wanted to be there too, but he bowed out as well on Friday as he continues his recovery from that serious abdominal strain.
On one level, it would have been great for the Heat Superfriends to take a victory lap before the eyes of the world.
Would have been fun to watch the Three Kings yukking it up on the bench as Team USA put the finishing touches on a blowout of Tunisia.
Instead, it will be up to LeBron James to represent the reigning NBA champions on Coach K’s injury-altered team.
This will continue the “perfect storm,” as Wade called it Friday, for LeBron.
Now Olympic gold for the second time?
“Everyone loves a champion, a winner,” Wade said.
So while Wade and Bosh will be watching stateside from the comfort of their living rooms, they’ll also do so in the private knowledge that this is what’s best for their primary employer.
Any hopes of a Heat-peat would have been severely compromised had the Heatles played London, no doubt making a side pilgrimage to Abbey Road (white suits and all) along the way.
That’s how much of a grind the international schedule can be in those even-numbered years.
No one knows that better than Wade.
Coming off the World Championships in 2006, he had “pretty much two weeks off and came right into the season.”