If You Wondered, Donald Sterling Thinks Magic Johnson Should Be Ashamed Of Having HIV

Banned-for-life owner of the Los Angeles Clippers Donald Sterling had, um, an interesting interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper this week. The latter part of the interview aired Monday night, and boy, was it something. In addition to apologies and repeatedly insisting he's not racist, the 81-year-old Sterling also tore into Magic Johnson and Johnson's HIV diagnosis, insisting Johnson should ashamed of having the condition — which Sterling repeatedly misstated as AIDS.

Sterling also indicated Johnson had deceived him — apparently telling him he'd "take care" of the racism scandal — which Sterling casually decided was a scheme by Johnson to buy the team himself.

In short, it was an epic disaster of an interview, and whatever sympathies Sterling must have hoped he'd win went right out the window. Because whenever he wandered off that script, drawn into other areas of conversation by a professionally stone-faced Cooper, Sterling showed his true colors. And they weren't pretty.

  • "[Magic] goes to every city, has sex with every girl, then he catches HIV? Is that someone we want to respect and tell our kids about?"
  • "I think [Magic] should be ashamed of himself. I think he should go into the background. But what does he do for the black people? He doesn't do anything."
  • "What has he done? Can you tell me? Big Magic Johnson, what has he done? ... He's got AIDS! Did he do any business, did he help anyone in South L.A.?"
  • "The Jewish people have a company, and it's for people who want to borrow money with no interest. We want to give them a fishing pole. We want to help people. You don't have the money, we'll loan it to you. You don't have the interest, one day you'll pay us back. I'm just telling you, [Magic] does nothing. It's all talk!"

As Cooper mentioned between interview segments, Magic Johnson's record on charity is nothing to be sneezed at. Johnson's raised over $20 million for charity, and has dished out over $4 million in scholarships while managing various business interests and working to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS worldwide.

Sterling's take on Johnson isn't much of a surprise, perhaps, given the evident racial enmity in last month's leaked recordings. But it's pretty shocking that Sterling's "I'm not a racist" interview turned into, well, this.

Sterling also made reference to his players, saying that "would do anything for them," but this has also been proven likely untrue — in a recent interview, former Clippers point guard Baron Davis tells a very different tale.

He used to heckle me [during games] all the time. He called me a bastard ... referred to me as the devil, crazy, he would really cuss at me, like "why are you shooting the f*cking ball, you should stop shooting the f*cking ball." ... as soon as he walked into the arena, I got the worst anxiety. I never had anxiety playing, I just, I couldn't do it.
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Where Sterling will go from here is uncertain. He suggested near the end of his interview with Cooper that he was in no mood to lawyer up for a court battle, but he also said quite flatly that the Clippers were his, regardless of his own player's protests. This seems delusional — Sterling claims to believe that his players love him and know he isn't racist. In which case, somebody should really tell the team.