- Associated Press - Friday, October 15, 2010

MIAMI (AP) - The inaugural version of LeBron James’ latest Nike shoe is more of a nod to the Miami Dolphins and Florida Marlins than the Miami Heat.

Call it part of the way James is already embracing the Miami culture.

The “LeBron 8 South Beach” will be introduced Saturday by James, at a Miami event where the two-time NBA MVP will speak to 100 children about the upcoming Heat season and what went into designing his eighth signature sneaker.

The shoe shown Saturday have a turquoise and black scheme, similar to Dolphins and Marlins colors _ a “pre-Heat” version, James said, noting that the design is based around Miami themes. James said “shoeheads will definitely love it” and that the initial response to the sneaker has been overwhelmingly positive.

It retails for $160.

What’s being unveiled Saturday is merely a special edition. Other color schemes, including ones featuring the Heat red and black, are expected to be available later this month.

James said he and Nike have tried to bring “a little bit more hip, a little bit more spice” to his shoes, whether they’re being used for performance or just casually.

“And I think we’ve done it again,” James said Friday.

The shoe isn’t just meant to look good, James said. Nike says the shoe will feature “technology for the ultimate cushioning with lightweight comfort and lockdown control.”

James isn’t just a name on the back of the sneaker, which also features the number “828” _ for the 82 regular-season games and the maximum 28 playoff games an NBA team faces on the way to winning a championship.

“I’m 100 percent, I’m hands-on, from the start of the whole creation,” James said. “What type of airbag, the mid-sole, the out-sole, the colors, all the way to the performance when I put it on before the game. Everything.”