Magic Johnson on Donald Sterling’s latest rant: ‘Pray for him’

One day after yet another rant directed his way by suspended Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson twice responded publicly, first telling TMZ that the 81-year-old’s latest comments are "sad" and saying "we just got to pray for him," before CNN aired an interview with Anderson Cooper during which Johnson said Sterling is ”living in the stone ages” in his attitudes about minorities.

In the conversation, Sterling — who received a lifetime ban from the NBA after his original recorded racist remarks became public last month — heavily criticized Johnson. Sterling said Johnson has "done nothing" to help fellow blacks while serving as a poor role model because he said Johnson’s "got AIDS." Cooper corrected Sterling in the interview, telling him that Johnson does not have AIDS, but is HIV positive.

Following the interview Monday night, Johnson made his feelings obvious on Twitter:

On Tuesday, Johnson attempted to take the high road regarding his efforts in the black community.

"I’m a proud black man. I’m a leader in the black community and I take that role seriously," Johnson told TMZ. The NBA legend defended himself further, saying he has sent more than 10,000 minorities to college via the Magic Johnson Foundation and has invested millions of dollars in urban cities and businesses, in addition to other extensive charitable work.

Then came the CNN interview:

"It’s disturbing. It’s sad. He didn’t do his homework," Johnson told Cooper about Sterling’s comments that wealthy African Americans do not help the African-American community. "He didn’t educate himself before he actually came on and talked to you."

Johnson’s reply to reports that he would not continue to speak with Sterling on the phone: "I didn’t want him to feel he could just call me because he hadn’t apologized to me. . . . When I saw that interview it’s sad, it really is. I’m going to pray for this young man. . . . What’s really sad is it’s not about me. This is about the woman you love outing you, taping you and putting your conversation out here for everybody to know. That wasn’t me, I didn’t do that. I don’t know this young lady. This is between you two."

On Sterling’s efforts to retain ownership of the Clippers: "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."

In the TMZ interview, Johnson defended himself on several accusations made by Sterling on Monday night:

• On Sterling telling Cooper that Johnson was the one convincing the Clippers owner to stay silent after the initial comments and controversy broke:

• On having to defend himself against Sterling’s comments:

 

DONALD STERLING TRIAL

• On V. Stiviano, Sterling’s mistress who allegedly released the first recordings leading to Sterling’s NBA suspension:

• On Sterling’s possible PR strategy:

• On Sterling wondering on TV what Johnson really did in working for the Dodgers:

• On his opinion of Sterling now: