Full transcript: Magic Johnson responds to Donald Sterling in CNN interview

Trancript courtesy of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We begin our conversation today talking about the first recording that surfaced, the recording that started it all.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: When you first heard the audiotape that was released a couple of weeks ago, what did you think?

EARVIN “MAGIC” JOHNSON, FORMER NBA PLAYER: Well, I was just — I was blown away.

I was — I couldn’t believe that he had said those things, first of all, made those statements, those racist statements, and then, you know, threw me in, “Don’t bring him to my games.”

And so you personally attack me. And so — and I had known Donald, not very well. I knew him. I have met with him three or four times, been to his office.

COOPER: So, how — I mean, so you — so were you guys friends?

JOHNSON: Yes.

COOPER: You were acquaintances?

JOHNSON: I would say we were friends.

My first trip, when I got here in L.A. over 35 — about 35 years ago, Dr. Buss took me to his beach house for his annual beach house party in the summertime. So that was one of the first things that I did.

So, to reflect back to that, to these statements he made about myself and minorities, it was just disappointing. It was — I was in disbelief that he would say these things, and then, you know, to throw me into the situation. Continue reading

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Lakers great Magic Johnson talks briefly on sale of Clippers and Donald Sterling

On Monday evening, Lakers great Magic Johnson spoke to students at Long Beach State University at a closed to the public event. Students were allowed to ask Johnson questions during the Q/A portion and the question on everyone’s mind was finally asked: Is Magic interested in buying the Clippers?

“I don’t know what me and my group are going to do,” said Johnson when asked about his interest in the Clippers. “But I will say this, 20 people have already called me interested in partnering up with me, so money will not be an option”

When the initial question was asked, many cheered, but there were some boos (presumably from Lakers fans). But Johnson also admitted that if he actually did try to purchase the Clippers that it would be a “battle for him personally,” due to his allegiance to the Lakers franchise.

“I really truly love the Lakers,” said Johnson. “I am a Laker. So that will be interesting.”

Johnson has been rumored to be eyeing the Clippers, hoping to be add to his Southern California empire that includes the Dodgers and the L.A. Sparks in the wake of Sterling’s ban from the NBA for his racist comments, which mentioned Johnson.

“It’s a sad day. Racism. Discrimination. It’s why do we still have to go through that, here we are in 2014,” said Johnson. “While I was upset, I feel sorry for him, living in the past. It’s just uncalled for.”

The Lakers great reminded the audience that the Clippers are not actually for sale as of yet, with the NBA owners still needing to vote Sterling out. Johnson figured that sale would not happen for another eight months to a year.

“There is no way that man walks away without a battle,” said Johnson.

The Clippers question was also brought up earlier in the talk, when a student asked Johnson what did he want to accomplish in his life that he had not already. When Johnson paused, a student yelled out “buy the Clippers,” at which point Johnson and the room burst into laughter.

“Buying the Clippers,” said Johnson jokingly. “That would be it.”

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Chris Paul is quite the helper, but has a long way to go to catch all-time leaders

Point guard Chris Paul is averaging a league-high 10.9 assists this season. That is absolutely terrific, and there is no question he is headed toward an eventual date with the Hall of Fame.

But the 28-year-old out of Wake Forest has a long way to go to catch those in front of him on the all-time leader board. He has 5,996 assists overall, which puts him in 27th place. The leader is John Stockton, who had 15,806 over 19 seasons. He is well ahead of second-place Jason Kidd’s 12,091. Paul will climb much higher on that ladder before he’s done, but it will be all but impossible to catch Stockton.

Average-wise, Paul is in much better position. He is averaging 9.9. That is third all-time behind Magic Johnson (11.1) and Stockton (10.5). Johnson, by the way, is fifth in total assists with 10,141 in 13 seasons.

Paul is currently in his ninth season.

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