It's been a little while since we've heard from any of the Miami Heat players, though now with the lockout firmly in place it's not very surprising. Wednesday afternoon Dwyane Wade did speak, first to the hundreds of kids participating in his basketball camp up in Chicago. The kids asked Wade about lots of different topics, but not the lockout. They were more interested in his teammate, LeBron James, and his actress-girlfriend, Gabrielle Union.
Wade has been and will continue to be very busy since the Heat came up short in the NBA Finals just one month ago. He's been on a trip to Europe and now is in Chicago hosting a basketball camp. After that he'll head to Los Angeles for a commercial shoot and then down to South Florida for his annual camp held at Nova Southeastern University in Davie.
He is also going on a trip to the Far East, heading to China for the first time since he was there in 2008. That was a pretty memorable trip, as Wade and his US Olympic teammates won gold at the Beijing Games. Wade spoke Wednesday on a lot of different topics, and here is what he had to say.
On his upcoming visit to China
"I'm excited to come back over there and just enjoy China. I want to go different places over there. I told Brand Jordan I wanted to go to see where the magic happens, where are the sneakers made, the people that make the sneakers. I want to go meet those people. I've got a lot of things I want to accomplish this summer and I've got a lot of time to do that."
On working out at the AAA with his Heat teammates
"I don't miss it yet. I'm only a month away from the game. I'm cool. I've got two more weeks to relax before I get back into it. But when the time gets to where we're still going, I will miss it and most importantly I think everybody will miss it because you're used to getting into a rhythm, used to getting into a schedule. And when that schedule is starting off, everything is off."
On if the Heat season was a disappointment
"We understand that it was a failure, that it was a failure not just for the Miami Heat, it was a failure for every team that didn't win except for the Dallas Mavericks. They were the champions, so they had the best year. Everyone else failed -- they didn't win a championship. But the things that we did, they don't just erase."
On still feeling the hurt from losing the NBA Finals
"The sting is there, no question about it. I joke with the kids, I say, `All right, I'm going to make jokes about it, and you guys aren't going to ask me questions.' Because when they ask questions, they want to know some stuff. So I make sure I shed some light on it in a sense of humor type of way. But the sting's there. But you've got to move on."
On his work with kids during the summer camps that he hosts
"I always feel like I'm on this Earth for a purpose, for a reason, just to leave my mark, leave the world a better place. And just use basketball to do it. If I can leave my mark on the world in that way, as I do with my foundation, with our youth, then I'll feel like I did my job. So when I get 60, 70, 80 years old, I can sit back and be happy with what I've done."