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Damage control: Sterling shows true colors in interview

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When you're in a hole, stop digging.

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Sadly, that advice has obviously eluded Donald Sterling in his 80 years on the planet.

The owner (for now) of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers went on Anderson Cooper's show AC 360 (www.cnn.com) Monday night to apologize.

Sterling had hoped to somehow explain what he said on the taped racist rants released a couple of weeks ago by a gossip media outlet (www.tmz.com).

It didn't go well.

That is perhaps a slight understatement.

By way of comparison, let's say the maiden voyage of the Titanic didn't go well.

Like the storied ocean liner, Sterling sank deeper into the abyss, making already bad matters even worse.

If you didn't think that was possible, you were mistaken.

It started off like one would have imagined.

"I'm so sorry. I'm so apologetic. I love people, I always have," Sterling told Cooper.

He admits to saying those vile things about not wanting blacks to come to his games or have his girlfriend V. Stiviano post photos on Instagram with black people, most notably former Laker great Magic Johnson.

But says she (Stiviano) "Baited me into saying those things," Sterling added.

Then he said to Cooper: "You're more of a racist than I am. I am not a racist. I have never been a racist."

Sterling claimed it was Johnson, himself, who called him to tell him not to say anything.

"Don't talk to anybody," Johnson purportedly told Sterling. "I know the girl (Stiviano). I'll help you."

In the latter part of the interview, Sterling went on a tirade leveled at Magic saying: "He made to every girl in every city in America and he had AIDS.

"When I found out he had those AIDS, I went to the synagogue to pray for him. I didn't criticize him as I could have."

It gets worse.

"Big Magic Johnson...what has he done...can you tell me?" Sterling said. "What has he really done for Children's Hospital? What has he done for the black people? He doesn't do anything.

"He should be ashamed of himself."

Oh, it gets worse.

"Jews, when they get successful, they help their people," Sterling stressed. "Some of the African Americans do...maybe I'll get in trouble again...they don't want to help anybody."

Sterling's estranged wife, Shelly, was interviewed by Barbara Walters in her last week on the air, trying to make the case for her to keep her half-interest in the Clippers if her maybe husband is forced to sell the team.

Shelly claimed that Sterling had dementia based on what she heard him say on the tapes.

Sterling claimed that he had support from other owners but didn't really ask them if they would vote in his favor.

This story has, as they say, legs.

As the reported hundred hours of taped conversation continue to trickle out, more and more will be fodder for the 24-hour news cycle and social media will surely blow up.

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