By Simon Evans
MIAMI (Reuters) - The Miami Heat's seven-times All Star Dwyane Wade has travelled the world during the NBA lockout but says he cannot wait to return to the court and get the lingering 'itch' of his team's defeat in last season's finals out of his system.
However, nothing would please him more than a trip back to the court at the Heat's American Airlines Arena, especially with last year's loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the championship finals still burning.
"No one knows if you are going to be successful, that is part of being an athlete, getting so high and going so down and trying to get back up, that is part of it," Wade told Reuters.
"That burning desire to get back and to try and compete, that itch that's inside of us, is still there.
"On the outside of the flesh, yes (it eases), but on the inside it never goes away. You have to move on, you have to continue to do different things."
"But on the inside it burns you, at least until you get the opportunity to do it again," said Wade, who was speaking at the launch of his new 'Hublot King Power Dwyane Wade' watch.
"It's frustrating," Wade said. "Every player wants to get back on the court and play, for whatever reasons they have.
"I am sure that every player on the Miami Heat can't wait to get back and try to get back to the place where we were last year, have success and hopefully get back to the finals where we can better ourselves -- that is our goal and I am sure every player has been thinking that all summer.
"We got this close and couldn't pull it out and that makes you hungry, it makes you want to get back out there again."
The lockout has already led to all of November's regular season games being wiped out and there is the risk of further cancellations.
Wade sees one positive in the prolonged negotiations between the two sides -- at least they are still talking.
"I can't say I'm optimistic, I can't say I'm down on it, I am kind of even-keel with it," the 29-year-old said. "Sometimes it goes up and it seems we might have a deal and then it blows up and it seems far away.
"When they are talking till one in the morning or whatever it is and then meeting the next day, that's always a positive. At least we are getting face to face and trying to hash out a deal and hopefully the fans see that and appreciate that."
As well as having even longer to stew over the way last season ended, Wade has had to work out away from the team set-up just like other NBA players.
While the 2006 championship winner has no trouble motivating himself, he says nothing beats the feeling of working with team mates.
"I prefer being around them," Wade added. "We can all work out on our own but nothing is like playing with the talent that there is in the NBA, nothing is like playing in an NBA game.
"I don't care how much you train before the season starts, you aren't going to be NBA ready.
"That has been one of the unfortunate things that we have had to deal with throughout this whole lockout, not being around the team, not being able to train with the people that we are used to and trying to figure it out on your own."
(Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)