It did not take very long for NBA commissioner Adam Silver to offer critical comments towards Donald Sterling following the Clippers owner's Monday evening interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper. Sterling attempted to gloss over racially charged comments he made in a recording that led to a lifetime ban from the NBA. He only made things worse by making derogatory remarks about former Lakers star Magic Johnson.
Silver issued the following statement late on Monday:
"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 NBA Board of Governors is continuing with its process to remove Mr. Sterling as expeditiously as possible."
Shelly Sterling Interview
Clipper coach Doc Rivers also responded to Sterling's criticism of Johnson.
"Obviously I know who Magic is," Rivers said. "I'll stand by Magic every day of the year because I've known him for a long time. Having said that, I don't know what's going on out there. I tried not to get involved in that part of it right now. Whatever it is, that doesn't sound like much of an apology to me."
Johnson's longtime agent Lon Rosen also blasted Sterling, saying the portrait of Johnson that Sterling attempted to paint in the interview couldn't be further from the truth.
"I've known Earvin since 1979 and his whole mission in life has been to create business opportunities in urban America and to be charitable," Rosen told The Times on Monday. "He has literally donated tens of millions of dollars of his own money to organizations and individuals forever and ever and ever.
"In 1986, he decided to create the United Negro College Fund summer basketball game. He did this while he was a player. He raised millions and millions of dollars. He did this on his own for years.
"He has opened up movie theaters in urban markets across America. He had 124 Starbucks in urban cities across the country. His business model has revitalized urban America and he continues to do it."
In the interview with Cooper, Sterling said Johnson "doesn't do anything" for black people. Sterling added: "I just don't think he's a good example for the children of Los Angeles. That he would go and do what he did, and go get AIDS. I mean, come on."