Anthony McClelland, LeBron’s Dad: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

LeBron James won his third NBA title on Father’s Day 2016, but there was no mention of his father. James enjoyed the championship celebration with his three children, but made no mention of his estranged dad.

While most fans know that four-time NBA MVP LeBron James was raised by his mother Gloria, we haven’t quite been able to piece together information about his father, Anthony McClelland. The ex-con has been out of the picture for James’ entire life, and though he’s tried to reconnect with The King, his efforts at contacting him have been futile.

Here’s what you need to know about McLelland:

1. James Thanked His Dad for Not Being in His Life

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In February 2014, James posted a photo to his Instagram account that received instant buzz from the media. In the post, he claimed that his father’s absence motivated him to get to where he is today.

lebron james father instagram, lebron james open letter

(Instagram/LeBron James)

The excerpt on the photo was taken from a longer interview James had with GQ, in which he discussed his transition from living in poverty to living as one of the wealthiest athletes in the world.

In the interview, James told GQ:

I go from $10 in my pocket to $100 million. In high school. Yup.

2. He’s Been Convicted of Arson & Theft

lebron james father, lebron james dad

(Instagram/LeBron James)

McClelland impregnated James’ mother Gloria when she was 16-years-old. Viewology describes the couple as having been casual sex partners, and that McClelland reportedly left her after he found out about the pregnancy because he was uninterested in being a father.

ESPN Magazine writes,

He’s been convicted of arson and theft, to name just two of his many transgressions, and he certainly wasn’t the one to help Glo out of her monetary hardships.

3. He’s Never Met James

NBA 2K15

NBA 2K15

Multiple news outlets have reported that McClelland has never met his biological son, and any attempts to insert himself back into his son’s life have been futile.

When James’ Instagram post about his dad went viral, News One reported:

McClelland allegedly turned to a life of crimes such as arson and theft and James has never had any contact with his biological dad whatsoever.

Before McClelland’s name hit the news, other men tried to make money off James by claiming they were his father. In 2010, a lawyer from Washington D.C. named Leicester Bryce Stovell filed a lawsuit against James claiming he was the basketball star’s father. He added he would provide genetic material to prove he wasn’t lying. The DNA test came back negative, and James’ lawyers said that Stovell was “simply delusional”.

4. He Came Back Into the Picture in 2002

gloria james


ESPN’s 2002 article on LeBron and his mother says that McClelland resurfaced in 2002. James’ biological father wanted to be in his son’s life again, but had already been found guilty of theft five times and was arrested again a month before the article was published. James, however, had no intentions of ever seeing his dad. He told ESPN,

I keep that somewhere far, far away.

5. McClelland & Gloria James Were Never a Couple

ESPN Magazine introduced the McClelland situation:

…the father was a casual sex partner named Anthony McClelland, who by now is well-known within the state and county penal systems

James has credited his mother countless times for making him the athlete and family man he is today.

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