LeBron James has spent almost half his life as one of the most famous athletes in the world. But he did not always have it easy. Growing up with a single mother and almost no relationship with his father, the NBA star was bitter about his situation. However, James’ views on his father have shifted as he tackles fatherhood himself.
Who is LeBron James’ father?
James was born when his mother, Gloria, was in high school. Not much is known about his father, other than the fact that he was not there for James growing up. While it’s not confirmed, many believe James’ father is a man named Anthony McClelland, reports Heavy.
The ex-con spent his life away from his superstar son. Gloria and James’ father were never officially a couple, which could explain the absence. McLellan was convicted of arson and theft when James was just a child, reports ESPN. He was never there in person or as financial support for James.
In fact, the Lakers star has reportedly never even met his biological father. McClelland reportedly wanted to be a part of James’ life in 2002. This was when James began to take over the national spotlight in high school. But the athlete declined.
James grew up bitter about his father’s absence. He had to guide himself through things and was angry that somebody could stand by idly as their son and his mother tried to make things work.
James speaks about his father
James has discussed how he took the bitterness that came with his upbringing and turned it into inspiration. “My whole life I grew up resenting my father, everything was like ‘F— pops, he left me. Why would he do that to my mom?’ James told Yahoo Sports. “… I was like if I ever met him, we going to blows right off top.”
At 18 years old, James entered the NBA. He still had a lot of growing up to do as a person. Becoming a father at 19 and juggling his status as a young superstar humbled him. Watching his oldest son, Bronny, grow helped him appreciate what he has instead of dwell on what he lost as a child.
“As I got older and as I became more of an adult, I started to realize and think to myself well, ‘Damn, what was he going through?’ … Was it things that he couldn’t control?” James explained. “He’s the reason I am the father I am today. Because I always wanted to set an example and have the father figure in their lives so they never had that resentment.”
Now a father of three, James has never shied away from championing his kids and ensuring they know how much he loves them. He may be an NBA superstar and businessman, but he does not let this get in the way of what matters.
Over the summer, James was criticized for his excessive participation in Bronny’s basketball games, including dunk exhibitions and boisterous celebrations. When one considers everything he went through with his own father, however, it makes sense that he does so much for Bronny, Zhuri, and Bryce.
James might have an enviable life now, but he’s chosen to make lemonade from lemons and use his father’s shortcomings to inspire his behavior. As his kids grow, they can be thankful James has so much motivation to draw from to ensure that he’s the best father he can be.
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