LeBron James Thanks Absentee Dad in Instagram Photo: You Made Me Who I Am!

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LeBron James shared a personal message to his father - who he's never seen or met - on Instagram this week, and it's not what you would expect. At all.

In discussing his life with GQ, James opened up about how the specific circumstances of his single-parent upbringing helped make him the man he is.

The Huffington Post repackaged James' quote as a photo, which the NBA star liked so much, he put it up on Instagram and shared it with fans. The quote:

LeBron James' Note to Dad

"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."

"And to be able to put my guys that's with me now in position. Like Maverick Carter, my right-hand guy in business. Rich Paul, my agent. Randy Mims, my friend - he's my manager, you know."

"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?"

"Because of you Pops! Thanks all along. Could have said why me with u not being there but look what I made of myself," James wrote in his Instagram caption.

It was a jarring, eye-opening statement from LeBron, whose mom, Gloria James, says his father was "a casual sex partner" turned convict, Anthony McClelland.

Another man, Leicester Bryce Stovell, sued LeBron and Gloria James in 2010 claiming he was LeBron's biological father; the suit was dismissed in 2011.

It's unclear why LeBron, who has two sons of his own with wife Savannah Brinson (below) decided to open up about his dad in such a public way.

His feelings are genuine and show a level of maturity beyond his years, however, with the 29-year-old proving he is The Man off the court as well.

As for his mother, have no fear: She gets the real credit and then some.

James wrote about Gloria in The Shriver Report, a nonprofit project which aims to "inspire conversations that modernize America's relationship with women:

"With my mom being so young and lacking any support and the skills and education necessary to get ahead, it was really hard for us. We lost our house."

"We moved around from place to place - a dozen times in three years. My mom worked anywhere and everywhere, trying to make ends meet."

"But through all of that, I knew one thing for sure: I had my mother to blanket me and to give me security. She was my mother, my father, my everything."

"She put me first. I knew that no matter what happened, nothing and nobody was more important to her than I was. I went without a lot of things."

"Never for one second did I feel unimportant or unloved."

Oh, and mom was also the subject of an Instagram update this week, along with the $200,000 new toy the Miami Heat star bought her for her birthday:

LeBron James' Mom Gets a Car
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