Banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling said Magic Johnson isn't a good role model for children in Los Angeles, making the comment to CNN in the same interview where he asked for forgiveness for the racist comments he made in leaked audio recordings that surfaced last month.
In the interview with Anderson Cooper that aired Monday night on CNN, Sterling said Johnson, who is HIV-positive, is not "a good example for the children of Los Angeles."
"He's got AIDS," Sterling said. " ... Is this someone we want to respect and tell our kids about? I think he should be ashamed of himself. I think he should go into the background."
"I just read a transcript of Donald Sterling's interview with Anderson Cooper, and while Magic Johnson doesn't need me to, I feel compelled on behalf of the NBA family to apologize to him that he continues to be dragged into this situation and be degraded by such a malicious and personal attack," the statement read. "The NBA Board of Governors is continuing with its process to remove Mr. Sterling as expeditiously as possible."
For his part, Johnson took to Twitter after the Heat's Game 4 win, referencing Sterling but instead choosing to focus on the playoffs:
I'd rather be talking about these great NBA Playoffs than Donald Sterling's interview.- Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 13, 2014
Sterling's girlfriend, V. Stiviano, had posted a photo of her and Johnson on her Instagram account. Sterling told her to remove the photo and made racist comments that prompted outrage throughout the NBA and the nation when they were released, leading to his lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine from the league.
In the interview, Sterling said he's talked to Johnson twice since the audio recordings became public and was asked whether he apologized to the former Los Angeles Lakers star.
"If I said anything wrong, I'm sorry," Sterling told CNN in the interview. "He's a good person. I mean, what am I going to say?"
Sterling said Johnson urged him to "be patient" during their discussions.
"I think he wanted me just to do nothing, so he could buy the team," Sterling said.
However, Sterling added a dig at Johnson as well.
"Has he done everything he can do to help minorities? I don't think so," he told CNN. "But I'll say it: He's great, but I don't think he's a good example for the children of Los Angeles."
Johnson declined to comment on Sterling's remarks when asked by ESPN.com. A source close to Johnson told ESPN.com that Sterling contacted Johnson only once, however, just after Stiviano's recordings were leaked, and it was to apologize for what he said.
Sterling also claimed in the CNN interview that he was set up by Stiviano to make the comments.
"Well, yes, I was baited," Sterling told CNN. "I mean, that's not the way I talk. I don't talk about people for one thing, ever. I talk about ideas and other things. I don't talk about people."
The interview came nearly two weeks after Silver banned Sterling, fined him the league-maximum $2.5 million and urged the other team owners to force him to sell the team.