Thursday, February 20, 2014

LeBron James' open letter to his absentee father says, 'Thanks' for not being there

LeBron James' upbringing is pretty well known by now. The NBA star's mother, Gloria, was 16 when he was born, and she raised him as a single mother. A responsibility he can't praise enough.

As for his father, Anthony McClelland, he was not around as James grew up to become the nation's best high school basketball player, before he skipped college and went straight to the NBA, where he has become one of the greatest of all time.

McClelland has made several attempts to have a relationship with James, who has returned the requests with a big NO.

On Wednesday, James posted a moving, open letter to his absentee father, facetiously thanking him for making him stronger by not being around.

On his Instagram account, James wrote:

“Because of you Pops! Thanks all along. Could have said ‘Why me?’ with (you) not being there, but look what I made of myself.”

The posting, part of a GQ interview, comes four months after James celebrated his mother in an essay that was part of a series that highlighted women who overcame hardship:

"When I was 9 years old, my mother made a supreme sacrifice. She decided that while she was figuring out how to get on her feet, I needed some stability in my life. I needed to stay in one place and experience the support and security that she had felt growing up in a big family. So she sent me to live with my pee-wee football team coach, “Big Frankie” Walker, and his family. She later said to me, “It was hard, but I knew it was not about me. It was about you. I had to put you first."

Another good reason to admire King James — and his mom.

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