Donald Sterling Slams Magic Johnson in Interview

The embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner sat down with CNN’s Anderson Cooper to ask forgiveness now that all signs point to him losing his team, but before the begging began he took another shot at Hall of Famer Johnson. 

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Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling sits down with CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview that will air May 12, 2014. 

CNN Screenshot

Now that all of the legal evidence is pointing to the Sterling family losing ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers, the "Sterling Family Public Oddity Tour" is in full effect.

On Monday Donald Sterling's latest attempt at groveling for forgiveness—complete with more Magic Johnson mudslinging—will air on CNN, New York's Daily News reports.

In an early version of the interview seen by the Daily News, Sterling told CNN's Anderson Cooper that he isn't a racist and that the racist-rant recordings heard across the globe were a mistake and he is entitled to one mistake. He then took the opportunity to blast Magic Johnson.

"He's a good person," Sterling said of the Hall of Famer. Johnson was one of the targets mentioned on the recordings after Sterling told his female friend, V. Stiviano, that he didn't want her bringing Johnson to games because he's black.

"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."

On Sunday Sterling's wife, Shelly, told Barbara Walters in an exclusive interview that her 60-year marriage to Donald has been "emotionally abusive and verbally abusive" and that there were spats of physical abuse, " ... but nothing of great magnitude." 

Shelly Sterling said that she believes her husband has early-onset dementia because he can't remember saying the racist remarks that have landed them in hot water. She also said that she had never heard her husband use derogatory language toward blacks and Latinos, a charge that was lobbed against both Sterlings in a 2006 discrimination lawsuit.

"I'm not a racist," she said. "I've never been a racist."

Shelly Sterling told Walters that she is estranged from her husband and that she has been preparing for a divorce for 20 years. She showed Walters the divorce papers. "In fact, I have here—I just filed—I was going to file the petition," she said. "I signed the petition for a divorce. And it came to almost being filed. And then my financial adviser and my attorney said to me, 'Not now.' "

Shelly Sterling also warned that she would fight an NBA ruling to force her to sell her 50 percent stake in the team.

"I will fight that decision," she told Walters. "To be honest with you, I'm wondering if a wife of one of the owners—and there's 30 owners—did something like that, said those racial slurs, would they oust the husband? Or would they leave the husband in?"

Both interviews came in the wake of LeBron James, the face of the NBA, making it abundantly clear that players don't want a Sterling—any Sterling—as an owner. "As players, we want what's right, and we don't feel like no one in his family should be able to own the team," James told the Daily News.

According to ESPN, the Sterlings may not have a legal leg to stand on.

A statement released by the NBA and viewed by ESPN states that "under the NBA Constitution, if a controlling owner's interest is terminated by a 3/4 vote, all other team owners' interests are automatically terminated as well. It doesn't matter whether the owners are related, as is the case here. These are the rules to which all NBA owners agreed to as a condition of owning their team."

James told ESPN that while the legal fight may be long, he and the players are committed to demanding justice. "At the end of the day, this is going to be a long litigation when it comes to that," James said. "This guy who's owned the team since the '80s is not going to just give the team up in a day. So we understand it's going to be long, but we want what's right."

Read more at the Daily News and ESPN.