In a letter posted to his Instagram account on Wednesday, Miami Heat star LeBron James thanked his father for not being a part of his childhood.
The four-time NBA MVP rose to basketball stardom from the most unlikely of circumstances. James’ mother, Gloria, was just 16 years old when she gave birth to LeBron, and raised him as a single parent. The family’s dire financial situation forced them to live in government housing and, at one point, in the home of one of James’ basketball coaches, Sports Illustrated notes.
Meanwhile, LeBron James’ father, Anthony McClelland was not involved in his upbringing. Despite the fact that he barely knows his father, James took to Instagram to “thank” the man for providing him with the motivation to “strive for greatness.”
Like, ‘wow, Dad, you know what, I don’t know you, I have no idea who you are, but because of you is part of the reason who I am today.’ The fuel that I use—you not being there—it’s part of the reason I grew up to become who I am. It’s part of the reason why I want to be hands-on with my endeavors. So me in a position allowing people around me to grow, that maybe wouldn’t have happened if I had two parents, two sisters, a dog, and a picket fence, you know?”
James captioned the photo with a message that directly addressed his father. “Because of you Pops! Thanks all along. Could have said why me with u not being there but look what I made of myself. Thanks to Huffington Post for the graphic. #StriveForGreatness”
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The 29-year-old’s “open letter” was actually an excerpt from his recent interview with GQ. In addition to discussing his father, James talked about his rise from near-poverty to his current position as one of the world’s wealthiest and most marketable athletes.
“I go from $10 in my pocket to $100 million. In high school. Yup,” he said.