Flashback: “Magic Johnson? . . . He’s Got AIDS!”

A year ago this week, Los Angeles Clippers then-owner Donald Sterling, an NAACP honoree, sat down for an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.  Sterling had been the subject of controversy after his black girlfriend, Vivian Stiviano audio taped a conversation in which he asked that she not be seen at Clippers games with black people.  During the interview with Cooper, Sterling apologized for the comments and went on the attack against former Los Angeles Lakers guard Magic Johnson, who had called for Sterling’s removal as owner.

Among the memorable lines:

And when he had those AIDs, I went to my synagogue and I prayed for him.  I hoped he could live and be well.

STERLING: Big Magic Johnson, what has he done?

COOPER: Well, he’s a businessperson. He’s . . .

STERLING (interrupting): He’s got AIDS!

Sterling would receive a lifetime ban from the NBA for his comments.  The NBA wished to force him to sell the team.  Sterling’s wife later sold the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for an unprecedented $2 billion.  Sterling has contested the sale in court.

The Clippers are currently tied with the Houston Rockets in the second round of the 2015 NBA playoffs, hoping to win Game 7 Sunday in Houston to reach the Western Conference Finals.

Sterling has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.


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