Magic Johnson Responds to Donald Sterling: I'm Praying for Him (Video)
"I just wish he knew the facts when he's talking," Johnson tells Anderson Cooper. "But he's a man who's upset and he's reaching.
Magic Johnson says he isn’t holding any grudges against Donald Sterling.
Talking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, the NBA legend responded to Sterling’s recent comments in which he offered a non-apology to Johnson. In his own interview, Sterling told Cooper: “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.”
For his part, Johnson replied: “My whole life is devoted to urban America. 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. The board of governors now have to do their job. 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.”
Johnson also says he’s praying for Sterling.
“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,” Johnson said. “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 interview airs at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday on Anderson Cooper 360°.
Sterling, the disgraced owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, sat down with Cooper for an exclusive interview Sunday where he admitted he had made a “terrible mistake” when he made racist and inflammatory comments about African-Americans, including Johnson.
“I’m a good member who made a mistake and I’m apologizing and I’m asking for forgiveness,” he told Cooper. “Am I entitled to one mistake, am I after 35 years? I mean, I love my league, I love my partners. Am I entitled to one mistake? It’s a terrible mistake, and I’ll never do it again.”
He has since been banned from the NBA for life and fined $2.5 million. The NBA also is working to force a sale.