Magic Johnson on Tuesday evening said Donald Sterling's comments about minorities shows that he's "living in the Stone Ages," and he advised the embattled billionaire to enjoy the rest of the life and forget about trying to retain ownership of the Clippers.
"The problem is he's living in the Stone Ages. He just can't make those comments about African Americans and Latinos," Johnson said in a CNN interview.
The former NBA great also offered Sterling some advice.
"You're 80 years old.... Just go ahead and enjoy the rest of your life," Johnson said. "You're fighting a battle you can't win."
Johnson also said that Sterling's wife, Shelly Sterling, or any other family member were not likely to own the Clippers.
"I think the players, the fans, the sponsors wouldn't go for it," Johnson told Anderson Cooper.
Donald Sterling spoke Tuesday regarding the racial remarks he made that prompted the NBA to ban him for life. In a recording released by TMZ two weeks ago, Sterling tells a female friend V. Stiviano not to associate with black people, including Johnson.
In his CNN interview, Sterling apologized repeatedly for his remarks on the tape. But at the same time, he also took another swipe at Johnson, saying that the former NBA great was not a good role model for children of Los Angeles because of his HIV-positive diagnosis.
"What kind of guy goes to every city, has sex with every girl, then catches” HIV? Sterling told Cooper. “I think he should be ashamed of himself.”
Sterling also questioned whether Johnson has made a positive contribution to the African American community in Los Angeles. He then pointed to his own charitable work and said that Jewish people -- unlike some African Americans who become successful -- give back to their community.
“Jews, when they get successful, they will help their people,” Sterling said.
Johnson told Cooper that Sterling was "a man who's upset and he's reaching. He's reaching. He's trying to find something that he can grab on to help him save his team. And it's not going to happen."
Johnson described himself as "a God-fearing man" and said, "I'm going to pray for him and hope things work out for him."
Sterling's latest comments have sparked new round of outrage on social media and from community leaders and elected officials in Los Angeles, including Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The mayor said Sterlings statements were "offensive to the city, to Magic Johnson and to the work that people do.
During a news conference about a new summer youth education program, Garcetti called Johnson a "major contributor to this city." Not only was Johnson a great basketball player, the mayor added, but he also has helped people prevail when faced with adversity.
“Everybody has hardships they overcome," Garcetti said. "People have challenges in life and he [Johnson] embodies that. This is the city of second chances.”
At the time the tape was released by TMZ, Stiviano and Sterling's wife, Shelly, were locked in a legal battle. Shelly Sterling was demanding that Stiviano give back cars and a $1.8-million condo that Donald Sterling had allegedly given her, according to court records.
In an ABC interview, Shelly Sterling suggested that her husband was suffering from dementia, which she said could explain the comments caught on tape.
"I was shocked by what he said," Shelly Sterling told Barbara Walters. "But I don't know why I should be punished for what his actions were."
Shelly Sterling that she may eventually divorce Donald Sterling and will fight efforts to force her to sell her share of the Clippers, adding that the team is part of her family legacy.
"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?" she said.
Asked Tuesday by a reporter to comment about Shelly Sterling's statements, Garcetti said: "I think the Sterlings need to be gone from this team period."
Copyright © 2015, RedEye