In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Johnson, who said he is still waiting for an apology from Sterling, had this to say about the billionaire who is now banned from the NBA for life.
“It’s sad. It really is. I’m going to pray for this … man.”
“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.”
When asked about allegations that Sterling might be suffering from dementia, Johnson said the owner “seems like he’s all there.”
“But the problem is, he’s living in the stone ages,” he added.
Johnson also cleared the air about conversations he allegedly had with Sterling. Sterling told Cooper on Monday that Johnson agreed to help him “work it out” after the racist recordings that led to his ban were released.
Not true, Johnson said Tuesday.
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.
Regarding his relationship with V. Stiviano, the woman at the center of the scandal, Johnson says they only met briefly to take a picture at a Los Angeles Dodgers game.
“I don’t know the young lady. I barely know Donald, so now I am caught in the middle of this love affair or whatever they had,” Johnson said.
And when asked to address Sterling’s most scathing comments, which painted Johnson as a black man who doesn’t help black communities and who shouldn’t be looked at as a role model because of “those AIDS,” Johnson had this to say:
“My whole life is devoted to urban America. So, you know I just wish he knew the facts when he’s talking,” Johnson told Cooper. “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.”
To watch highlights from the interview, see above.
SOURCE: CNN | VIDEO SOURCE: CNN