Olympics-Wade decides he is ready to play in London Games

MIAMI Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:26pm EST

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MIAMI Nov 10 (Reuters) - Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade says he is ready to compete for the United States in next year's Olympic Games, ending uncertainty over his involvement in the team's gold medal defence.

Wade said in July that he was unsure whether he would return with other players from the successful Beijing team and compete in London.

But in an interview with Reuters, Wade said he was in talks over his involvement but would say yes if he was asked to be part of the squad.

"I have had talks and obviously the talks will go further as this year goes on but I've told them that if they want me, I am there," he said.

Wade's Miami Heat team mate LeBron James has also said he will play in London while reports have suggested the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant is also ready to feature.

Wade, a seven-times NBA All-Star, will be 30 next year and one of the older players on the likely U.S. roster but he said that did not worry him.

"Just one more hurrah from me. London would be a great experience and would be a great ending of my Olympic career," he added.

The 2008 U.S. team featured Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul as well as two players who later became Wade's Miami team mates -- Chris Bosh and James.

TEAM PERSUASION

Wade, who also played on the bronze medal winning team in 2004, said some of his Olympic team mates had persuaded him to come back for another shot at gold.

"I enjoyed Beijing, I actually thought when I was on the gold medal stand that this was it, this is the best way to go out, I thought I was going out on top.

"Some of my team mates from the previous team convinced me that we have got to come back and try to do it again, so a lot of guys want to really come back and do it again," he said.

Wade top-scored with 27 points as the U.S. defeated Spain 118-107 in the 2008 final, earning the team the nickname of 'The Redeem Team' after their disappointing bronze four years earlier.

While Chicago-born Wade cannot wait for the current NBA lockout to end and allow him back on court, he said there was something unique about the Olympics.

"It's a special thing -- because everyone puts their pride and their egos aside and comes together for one common goal," he added. "It was special (in Beijing) and hopefully we can do it again."

Wade spoke to Reuters at the launch of his new 'Hublot King Power Dwyane Wade' watch.

(Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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