NBA

Anthony McClelland and the conspiracies surrounding LeBron James’ Father

Anthony McClelland, LeBron James, and Roland Bivins

LeBron James, amongst NBA fans, is frequently debated as one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA. James is a four-time NBA champion, four-time MVP, an 18-time All-Star, and an Olympic gold medalist. Though amongst these accomplishments, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabar for the most points scored in NBA history will be his most remarkable feat.

Gloria James gave birth to LeBron on December 30, 1984, when she was sixteen. With LeBron’s father absent, the family struggled to get by. Despite challenging times, James used his father’s absence as motivation to work harder and become a world icon.

“Because of you Pops! Thanks all along,” LeBron James wrote in a 2014 Instagram post. “Could have said why me with u not being there but look what I made of myself.”

LeBron James’ greatness was evident from the beginning of his career. As a result, the question of who his dad is has been an infamous topic. One man even sued his mother, Gloria, for 4 million dollars to claim the title as his biological father.

Over the years, four names have swirled around LeBron James as people who could be related. 

Let’s take a look at these four individuals.

Leicester Bryce Stovell

A headshot picture comparing LeBron James' face to Leicester Bryce Stovell
Left (LeBron James) Right (Leicester Bryce Stovell) (Getty Images/TMZ)

The first is Leicester Bryce Stovell — a lawyer who came forward claiming to have an affair with LeBron James’ mother in 1984. Stovell compiled his case and sued LeBron for an astounding $4 million.

Stovell began pressing for a paternity test in 2007. He argued that LeBron and his mother had concealed the fact that Stovell is the father.

Stovell contended he met Gloria James when she was 15 years old. He stated that nine months after their meeting, LeBron James was born.

LeBron James was required to take a paternity test. He agreed, and the results excluded Stovell as James’ father.

After the test, Stovell continued to argue that Gloria cheated and altered the results and that both she and LeBron were in on it. He claimed Gloria had informed him he was the father when she was pregnant and told him she intended to name the child LeBron.

Stovell claimed he told her, “Well if he’s mine, make sure he plays basketball.”

Stovell told a judge Gloria threatened him to keep him out of his son’s life and committed fraud to conceal his identity as LeBron James’ father. With Stovell having no evidence, the judge ultimately threw out his $4 million lawsuit.

James’ lawyers’ statement: “Stovell may truly believe that he is the father of LeBron James, even though a DNA test has told him otherwise. But his delusions do not give rise to a cause of action against either Gloria or LeBron James.”

Stovell last made headlines in August 2019 when the U.S. supreme court disbarred him from practicing law after he intentionally pocketed some of his client’s funds.

Anthony McClelland

Anthony McClelland in high school
Anthony McClelland

Gloria James first named Anthony McClelland as someone she thought was the biological father of LeBron James.

Presumably, Anthony and Gloria began dating while in high school. Family and friends revealed their relationship as casual, and Gloria became pregnant at 16. McClelland left her after she got pregnant.

With LeBron making waves as a young basketball sensation, McClelland resurfaced in 2002 and wanted to be a part of LeBron James’ life.

The problem for McClelland is that he had already been found guilty of theft five times in the late 90s and was arrested again in 2002 when he reappeared.

On the other hand, LeBron James had no desire to see McClelland. “I keep that somewhere far, far away,” James told ESPN.

Aaron McClelland Gamble

Aaron McClelland Gamble -- LeBron James' presumed brother
Aaron McClelland Gamble

Aaron McClelland Gamble (son of Anthony McClelland) is rumored to be LeBron James’ half-brother. 

The Akron native was reportedly born on May 31, 1987. From the outside, Aaron seems to be a reserved individual who enjoys frequenting athletic facilities.

Aaron closely resembles LeBron James in facial features and muscle tone. However, unlike LeBron, Aaron is almost a foot shorter (5-foot-8).

Aaron has never publicly spoken about his relationship status with LeBron James. However, reports claim Aaron tried to reach out to his rumored half-brother after his mother’s passing, but LeBron James did not respond.

Roland Bivins

Aaron McClelland Gamble and Roland Bivins side-by-side comparison
Left( Aaron McClelland Gamble) Right (Roland Bivens)

Many stories and conspiracies surround Anthony McClelland, particularly the name “Roland Bivins.” Many believe Anthony McClelland changed his name to Roland Bivins to escape his criminal reputation.

The conspiracy is lit by many Akron natives who believed the two dated and were often together. 

McClelland also having a similar criminal past as Bivens (theft and arson) fans the conspiracy theories. Nevertheless, Bivens died in a drive-by shooting in 1994 when LeBron was just eight years old, and that fact doesn’t align with McClelland’s 2002 arrest.

Most assume McClelland is LeBron’s definitive father because of Gloria’s initial claim and the resemblance in features. McClelland was a 6-foot-7 Akron, Ohio, hooper with a physique like LeBron James.

However, Frederick Nance, LeBron’s longtime attorney, said that a paternity test was carried out, and it also excluded McClelland as LeBron James’ father.

LeBron James’ evolution into fatherhood

From the top left: LeBron James Jr., Bryce James, LeBron James, Savannah James, Zhuri James, and LeBron's mom Gloria James
From the top left: LeBron James Jr., Bryce James, LeBron James, Savannah James, Zhuri James, and LeBron’s mom Gloria James

LeBron James has struggled to figure out his family members, and although his father’s love was missing, that did not stop him from forming a loving family with his high-school sweetheart Savannah.

Between an ex-con who abandoned him, a lawyer who sued him, and a rumored half-brother, LeBron James evolved into a prominent father of 3 and has made it his mission to be in his children’s lives as much as possible. Watching his son perform at a high level motivates him. One of James’ goals is to play an NBA game with Bronny, his first-born son.

“Wherever Bronny is at, that’s where I’ll be. I would do whatever it takes to play with my son for one year. It’s not about the money at that point.” – LeBron James

Left (LeBron James and Bronny in 2007) / Right (LeBron James and Bronny in 2021)
Left (LeBron James and Bronny in 2007) / Right (LeBron James and Bronny in 2021)

At 38 years old, LeBron James is still averaging 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists in 2023. James has spent more than half of his life in the NBA, and he is still in top shape. LeBron James is on track to accomplish his goal as the first father to play on the same team as his son in the history of the NBA.

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