Anthony McClelland is a former American convict noted for being the biological father of LeBron James, the basketball star. McClelland and James’ mother, Gloria, had a casual fling in the early 80s and this resulted in James’ birth in December 1984.
McClelland was absent during the early years of his son’s life and it was left to Gloria to shoulder all the hard work of raising him. He (McClelland) later attempted to reconcile with his son when the boy became a high school basketball star but it was too little too late. To date, there is no working relationship between Anthony McClelland and LeBron James, and James is committed to being a much better father to his own children.
Anthony McClelland is a Native of Ohio and Was Good at Street Basketball as a Youth
Despite being the biological father of one of the greatest sports stars of all time, everything about Anthony McClelland remains shrouded in mystery. His date of birth is not known. Details of his family background are unavailable. In fact, some sources have it that his real name is not even Anthony McClelland but rather Roland Bivens.
There is no strict confirmation of this though and so we shall continue referring to LeBron James’ father as Anthony McClelland. McClelland has African-American nationality and is likely a native of Ohio. He grew up in Ohio and was quite good at street basketball as a youth. This made Sports Illustrated describe him as a streetballer and the apparent source of LeBron James’ athleticism.
He Had a Casual Affair with LeBron James’ Mother, Gloria, in the Early 80s
Anthony McClelland was never married to LeBron James’ mom, Gloria Marie James. They are rather described as casual intimate partners. The two are said to have run into each other sometime in the early 80s and had a brief fling. They later went their separate ways and the then-16-year-old Gloria later discovered that she was pregnant.
Ms. James was in her sophomore year of school but she kept the pregnancy and welcomed her son on the 30th of December 1984. She relied on the help of her mother and other family relatives to take care of the little boy but it wasn’t easy and they lived in poor conditions.
LeBron James’ Father was Arrested for Several Crimes in the 90s and was Absent from His Son’s Life
While Gloria James was busy trying to make a good life for her son, LeBron James’ father, Anthony McClelland, continued with his carefree lifestyle. He however found it difficult to stay on the right side of the law and wound up in jail on several occasions.
Anthony McClelland was reportedly arrested and found guilty of robbery on at least five occasions and arson on others. Also, on the 12th day of November 2002, while his son LeBron was preparing for his senior season, he was once more arrested for theft. Of course, given this pattern of crime, arrest, and incarceration, he was absent from his son’s life during the boy’s formative years.
Does Anthony McClelland have a Working Relationship with LeBron James?
Anthony McClelland does not have a working relationship with his son, LeBron James. This doesn’t come as a surprise given the surrounding circumstances. He basically abandoned the boy when he was quite small and needed him. The only time that he retraced his steps and tried to re-establish a connection with him was when LeBron James was already a national basketball star in high school in 2002.
Of course, this raised the natural assumption that he (Anthony) only wanted to be around for the good times and so, LeBron James refused to see him. Another factor that influenced LeBron James’ decision to avoid his dad was the criminal record that he had hanging on his neck. As of 2002, the young boy was still trying to establish his career and didn’t want such controversy around him.
LeBron James Has Spoken about his Dad on Several Occasions
It has been two decades since Anthony McClelland made his initial unsuccessful attempts to reach out to his son, LeBron James, and the situation of things remains the same. They don’t have any relationship and James has been speaking about the same. His statements show that time has helped to reduce the animosity in his heart.
For instance, in a past interview with Larry King Live, James revealed that he had no thoughts about his father and wasn’t interested in meeting him. Fast-forward to 2014, LeBron James shared a letter on his Instagram page in which he thanked his father for not being there. As he saw it, that abandonment fueled him to become the great basketball star that he is today.
In a later interview with rapper Drake, LeBron James admitted that he was angry with his dad for not being there for him as a child. He however revealed that his resentment had fizzled as he got older and he was now more amenable to thinking about the issues the father might have struggled with. The basketball star also revealed that the whole experience had made him want to be a better father to his own kids.
How Many Other Children Does Anthony McClelland Have?
Asides from LeBron James, Anthony McClelland has at least one other child, a son named Aaron McClelland Gamble. Aaron bears an uncanny resemblance to his famous half brother. He is said to have been born on the 31st of May 1987 and lives in Ohio. He has a daughter as well as a sister that he is close to.
Aaron reportedly tried to reach out to LeBron James in the past for financial assistance but the basketball star did not give him access. It is believed that Anthony McClelland was also not so present in Aaron’s life but he must have made some effort seeing as the boy bears his name.
Where is Anthony McClelland Now?
Anthony McClelland is currently in Ohio or some other part of the United States of America. It is possible he may be in jail for one offense or the other. It is also very much possible that he has cleaned up his act and taken to making a living through legitimate means. He could also be living a normal life with a wife/a steady partner and could have had more children.
All this remains probability though without confirmation and this is because Anthony McClelland has firmly stayed out of the spotlight. He has no social media accounts and the few that exist under his name are fake ones.