Los Angeles Lakers great Earvin "Magic" Johnson responded to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's earlier comments about him in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on May 13.
Magic Johnson is not holding any grudge against disgraced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
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This is what Johnson said in an exclusive interview with CNN"s Anderson Cooper, per an update from Cooper's colleagues Steve Almasy and Catherine E. Sholchet:
"Magic Johnson has some advice for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling: Sell the team, take the money and enjoy the rest of your life.
"A day after Sterling appeared on CNN slamming the NBA legend's character, his battle with HIV and his community outreach efforts, Johnson said Tuesday that he feels sorry for the 80-year-old billionaire.
"'It's sad. It really is. I'm going to pray for this...man,' Johnson told CNN's Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview.
"Sterling's explosive CNN interview that aired Monday night was the first time he had spoken publicly since audio recordings surfaced last month of him making racist remarks. Reaction to his taped remarks came fast and furious, and the NBA responded with a lifetime ban for Sterling.
"Johnson became an involuntary figure in the controversy after Sterling named him in the leaked recording.
"Johnson told Cooper he is still waiting for an apology from Sterling for getting roped into Sterling's fight with Stiviano, and Johnson called the Monday interview -- in which Sterling directed another tirade at the NBA legend -- 'disturbing.'
"'What's really sad is, it's not about me,' Johnson said. 'This is about the woman you love outing you and taping you and putting your conversation out here for everybody to know...This is between you two, but then he wants to include me.'"
Johnson also cited Sterling's lack of knowledge about the retired Lakers star's personal situation. Sterling discussed Johnson's HIV virus but mentioned it as AIDS in his interview with Cooper. Sterling also told Cooper that Johnson is not a suitable role model for the youth of Los Angeles, according to TMZ (via ESPN).
"It's very disturbing. I think when you come on, No. 1 you should have your facts straight. I don't have AIDS; I have HIV. I've been living with HIV for 22 years.
"That's his opinion if he thinks I'm not a role model. I know the things that I've done in urban America and for people."
Johnson touched on this issue some more in the CNN interview, per USA TODAY's Nate Scott.
"Johnson told Cooper that Sterling still hasn't apologized to him, and expressed frustration that Sterling questioned his commitment to improving urban America.
"'I just feel sorry for him,' said Johnson. 'I really do. It's sad.'
"Cooper played footage of his interview with Sterling, including remarks in which Sterling said Johnson should be ashamed of himself for his HIV.
"'You'd think a man like that would be educated,' Johnson said. 'I didn't blame anybody else (for my HIV). I know what I did was wrong...but I'd like to think I helped some people."
Johnson also revealed to Cooper that Sterling actually called him and invited him to appear together in an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters, per Almasy and Sholchet.
"In fact, Johnson told CNN, Sterling called him recently and asked him to appear alongside him in an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters.
"'I said the number one thing you need to do which you haven't done is apologize to everybody, and myself,' Johnson said. (Sterling replied) 'I'll get to that. I'll get to that.'
"The former NBA star told Sterling that the billionaire businessman needed to consult with attorneys, stressing that the controversy was bigger than Sterling realized.
"Johnson said Sterling was adamant about Johnson doing the interview, even reaching out a second time. Johnson said his attorneys advised him not to have any further conversations with the embattled owner.
"Sterling never did the interview with Walters.
"'I'm really disturbed by the fact that when he called me he should have said,'Magic, I'm sorry,' Johnson said."
On the issue of the Clippers still loving Sterling, Johnson said he is "delusional," per CNN (via USA TODAY).
Johnsonn quipped,"Now he is delusional. He can't buy his way out of this one...Donald Sterling is not welcome back in the NBA."
As the CNN interview wound down, Johnson advised Sterling to sell the Clippers and enjoy the rest of his life.
"You're 80 years old. You've had a tremendous life. And you're going to benefit, whatever the price tag is, from this team selling. Just go ahead and enjoy the rest of your life.
"You're fighting a battle that you can't win."
After his interview with Cooper, Johnson took to Twitter to laud the CNN journalist and thank those who have supported him, including directors Tyler Perry and Spike Lee as well as former U.S. president Bill Clinton.
"@andersoncooper is a pros pro and one of the best journalists in the business!
"Pres. @billclinton called to thank me for all my work in urban America. It felt good that he said he just wanted to hear my voice.
"Thank you to @tylerperry, @spikelee, Pres. @billclinton, Tim Leiweke and everyone that has called me or sent me a text of support!"
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