Embattled LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling took some “malicious” shots at former NBA superstar and millionaire businessman Earvin “Magic” Johnson in an interview with CNN‘s Anderson Cooper, which was broadcast Monday evening.
In the exclusive interview, when Cooper asks if he apologized to Johnson, Sterling says, “If I said anything wrong, I’m sorry. He’s a good person. I mean, what am I going to say? Has he done everything he can do to help minorities? I don’t think so. But I’ll say it, he’s great. But I don’t think he’s a good example for the children of Los Angeles.”
The disgraced NBA owner also blames Johnson for his delayed public reaction to the audio recording released by TMZ, an extended version was also put out by the website Deadspin where he was heard making racist and disparaging remarks against African Americans.
“He just said ‘Wait, be patient, I’ll help you, we’ll work it out.”
Johnson’s name was mentioned in Sterling’s racist rant, after Johnson took a picture at a game with V. Stiviano, the young woman who reportedly recorded the rant.
After expressing his admiration for the NBA Hall-of-fame member, Sterling launches his broadside, saying, “What kind of a guy goes to every city, has sex with every girl, then he catches HIV? Is that someone we want to respect and tell our kids about? I think he should be ashamed of himself. I think he should go into the background. But what does he do for the black people? He doesn’t do anything.”
Johnson is well known for his philanthropic work around the country. His Magic Johnson foundation was given a top rating from a non-profit that evaluates charities.
In the interview, Sterling also assures Anderson that he is not a racist.
“I’m not a racist, I made a terrible, terrible mistake. And I’m here with you today to apologize and to ask for forgiveness for all the people that I’ve hurt.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who attended the NBA playoff game between the Heat and the Nets in Brooklyn, weighed in on the interview:
“I just read a transcript of Donald Sterling’s interview with Anderson Cooper and while Magic Johnson doesn’t need me to, I feel compelled on behalf of the NBA family to apologize to him that he continues to be dragged into this situation and be degraded by such a malicious and personal attack. The NBA Board of Governors is continuing with its process to remove Mr. Sterling as expeditiously as possible.”
The NBA commissioner has banned Sterling from the NBA for life. He is also in the process of forcing Sterling to sell the team.
Magic Johnson’s name has been floated as a possible buyer of the team. He has not commented on whether or not he has plans to become the LA Clippers’ next owner.
He tweeted after the game, “I’d rather be talking about these great NBA playoffs than Donald Sterling’s interview.”