The fundraiser put on by LBJ and friends in James’ hometown will go on despite his new locale, albeit on a much smaller scale. The Beacon Journal reports: “This summer, LeBron James is going to take his talents to South Main. His annual bike-athon still will roll through Akron, although the event will be scaled back from previous years. James will hand out bikes to 400 local kids on the morning of Aug. 7, then join the mile-long ride down South Main Street. The eight-mile trek for adults and kids that normally follows the short ride has been canceled. With overall interest in the King for Kids Bikeathon down from past years, city leaders said Tuesday they couldn’t justify the $25,000 spent in previous years for police officers and firefighters to staff the event. ‘It didn’t seem to be in balance for us to make the same investment,’ Deputy Mayor Dave Lieberth said. Akron’s expenses will be substantially reduced by not having to block traffic for the longer ride, which crossed the All-America Bridge. Lieberth said he isn’t sure how much the scaled-back coverage will cost. The bike-athon is the latest event Akron has downsized this year because of strained finances. Keith Estabrook, James’ spokesman, said scaling back the event was in response to the city’s budget problems and was unrelated to James’ recent decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and sign with the Miami Heat. He also said there were no concerns about James’ safety. ‘That absolutely was not a factor in the decision to scale back,’ he said. James remains committed to the bike-athon and to Akron and ‘looks forward to a great event,’ Estabrook said.”
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