My Grail: Nike LeBron 8 “South Beach”

The Summer of 2010 was quite a tense one for LeBron James fans around the world, including myself. I’ve been a fan since his high playing school days at St. Vincent St. Mary’s and rode the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows while he was a Cleveland Cavalier. However, that particular Summer was a pivotal one in the career of Mr. James. The Cleveland Cavaliers were eliminated from the playoffs by the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semi-finals after a scintillating 61-21 regular season. That seemed to be the epitome of LeBron’s tenure at Cleveland with the lack of depth during the crucial playoff push limiting his greatness.

2Image courtesy of ESPN

The images of LeBron walking to the locker room taking off his #23 jersey following the defeat to the Celtics are still fresh in my mind and I distinctly remember telling myself “if something big doesn’t happen to LeBron this off season (2010), I’m going to stop being his (LeBron) fan”. I may have been overdramatic, but after heartbreaking loss after another, I simply had enough. I followed the off season fanfare like a hawk. Speculations of LeBron becoming a member of the Knicks, Bulls and Heat had me at the edge of my seat. I was pretty certain he was leaving Cleveland at this point, but where would he end up? Could he follow in the footsteps of the man he was billed as his prodigy and play with up-and-coming point guard sensation Derek Rose? Or could he join forces with Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire with the bright lights of Madison Square Garden? Or could the pull of South Beach with Dwyane Wade and newly signed Chris Bosh be where James headed  to next?

The speculation ended on July 8, 2010 with the now infamous “Decision” and LeBron muttered the often mocked phrase “taking my talents to South Beach” to much of the chagrin of heartbroken fans in Cleveland who then proceeded to desecrate every reference to their once beloved King. I remember having very mixed emotions after watching the announcement and was completely wiped out after the crescendo reached its climax. After the dust settled, I knew this was the beginning of something great, a fresh start for LeBron and his fans.


Image courtesy of Business Insider

The LeBron 8 was his first signature shoe as a member of the Miami Heat and it also sparked a lot of change. LeBron was now going to wear #6 and it was also the first time he incorporated the powerful Lion logo he is now synonymous with in his sneaker. The “South Beach” or “Pre-heat” colorway is special for me because it was technically shoe #1 for LeBron as a member of the Miami Heat and it was the start of an emerging legacy with the Miami Heat now winning back to back championships spearheaded by LeBron himself. Lastly, this shoe is special because it began the “South Beach” trend with the vibrant pink, filament green and black leading to many other sneakers and clothing taking suit of the color way.

“If you look good, you play good” – LeBron James


Image courtesy of Nice Kicks

Jason Petrie & Lebron talk “South Beach” Lebron 8 from Inside The Sneakerbox on Vimeo.

I realize that there are still pairs of this iconic sneaker to be had but frankly I’m not ready to drain my bank account to obtain a pair. It will always be special to me and I hope the sneakerheads who have a pair enjoy and treasure everything it stands for. Long live the King!


Image courtesy of USA Today




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