Magic Johnson responded to Donald Sterling’s attacks on him Tuesday, only one day after the embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner blasted him in a sit-down interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
On Monday night, Sterling criticized the NBA legend, saying he should be “ashamed of himself” for contracting HIV, and questioned his status as a role model for the children of Los Angeles. Sterling’s comments, which were not only offensive but untrue, compelled NBA commissioner Adam Silver to once again apologize to Johnson.
Johnson took the high road in his response to the inflammatory comments, as he defended his charity work and added that the banned owner is simply saying anything to help save his team. He also said he would pray for Sterling.
“My whole life is devoted to urban America,” Johnson told Cooper in an exclusive interview. “So, you know I just wish he knew the facts when he’s talking. But he’s a man who’s upset, and he’s reaching. He’s reaching. He’s trying to find something that he can grab on to help him save his team. And it’s not going to happen. It’s not going to happen. …
“Adam Silver, our Commissioner of the NBA, did a wonderful job of banning him for life. Now the Board of Governors have got to do their job. And again, I’m going to pray for the man because even if I see him today, I’m going to say hello to Donald and his wife as well. I’m not a guy who holds grudges and all that. Yes, am I upset? Of course! But at the same time, I’m a God-fearing man, and I’m going to pray for him and hope things work out for him.”
The entire interview with Cooper will air Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.