Magic Johnson said his "whole life is devoted to urban America" in his first public response to the comments embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling made about him in an interview with Anderson Cooper that aired Monday night.
Johnson sat down with Cooper after Sterling's interview, where the owner said that Johnson should be ashamed of himself because of he has AIDS and hadn't done anything to give back to the community.
Johnson is HIV positive, but does not have AIDS.
In an excerpt sent to news outlets on Tuesday afternoon from CNN, Johnson said of Sterling that he just "wish he knew the facts when he's talking."
"But he's a man who's upset and he's reaching. He's reaching," he told Cooper. "He's trying to find something that he can grab on to help him save his team. And it's not going to happen. It's not going to happen."
Sterling was banned for life from the NBA after a recording of racist comments he made to a female friend about Johnson, among other people was made public. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also said he would encourage the NBA Board of Governors to force Sterling to sell his team.
Silver has also issued multiple apologies on behalf of the NBA to Johnson for Sterling's comments both in the recording and in his interview with Cooper.
"And again, I'm going to pray for the man because even if I see him today, I'm going to say hello to Donald and his wife as well," Johnson added. "I'm not a guy who holds grudges and all that. Yes, am I upset? Of course!
"But at the same time, I'm a God fearing man and I'm going to pray for him and hope things work out for him."