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Arenas accepts Sterling apology; Magic fires back

The SportsXchange

Possibly sensing a need for healing, former NBA guard Gilbert Arenas made it known Tuesday that he is willing to forgive embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for his racially insensitive comments.

Meanwhile, Magic Johnson called the situation sad and said he would pray for Sterling after the former Los Angeles Lakers guard was criticized in an interview with CNN that aired Monday night,

And Roger Mason Jr., vice president of the NBA Players' Association, said during an interview on Tuesday with "Jim Rome on Showtime" that Miami Heat forward LeBron James would lead a boycott next season if Sterling were still in place as an owner.

"If it's not handled by ... the start of next season, I don't see how we're playing basketball," Mason said. "I was just in the locker room with LeBron. ... At the end of the day, you know we have leaders. We have player reps, we've got executive committee members ... leaders of the teams, they're all saying the same thing, 'If this man is still in place, we ain't playing.'"

In the CNN interview, Sterling said he is not a racist and that he made a mistake with his remarks about African-Americans.

"I'll be the first to accept ur apology," wrote Arenas, a three-time NBA All-Star, on Instagram. "As a man who's made a mistake or two in life, I know how hard it is to look at your self in the mirror when you let so many ppl down but for anybody who can't and won't accept his apology u need to look in the mirror because were not perfect. forgiveness will destroy racism not more hatred"

After Sterling's initial remarks to a girlfriend were made public earlier this month by TMZ, Sterling was hit with a lifetime ban from the NBA for his conduct. He also is facing the possibility of a forced sale of the team that he has owned since 1980.

In the CNN interview, Sterling incorrectly stated that Johnson had AIDS and also that he was not a good role model for the community because of his past transgressions. Johnson fired back on Tuesday, defending his work and singing his own praises.

"It's very disturbing. I think when you come on, No. 1 you should have your facts straight," Johnson told TMZ. "I don't have AIDS, I have HIV. I've been living with HIV for 22 years. That's his opinion if he thinks I'm not a role model. I know the things that I've done in urban America and for people."

Johnson, in an interview set to air Tuesday night on CNN, said he has spoken with Sterling but added that he has not received an apology.

"Donald Sterling reached out to me, I took the call," Johnson told TMZ. "I'm the one, when he wanted me to go on Barbara Walters with him and try to save him and his reputation, I told him I would not go on the show with him and I told him you should seek the advice of your attorney and try to make this thing go away.

"Whether that's making a deal with (girlfriend V Stiviano) or whatever the case may be. And, No. 1, you've got to apologize not only to me but all minorities out there because you haven't apologized yet. He said, 'Oh, I'm gonna get to that. I'm gonna get to that.' Not once, even today, has he has never apologized to me or the other minorities he offended."

Arenas last played in the NBA for Memphis during the 2011-12 season. He averaged 20.7 points and 5.3 assists during his 11-year career.

In 2009, he was convicted on felony gun charges in connection with a locker-room incident while playing for the Washington Wizards. He was sentenced to a halfway house and suspended for 50 games by then-commissioner David Stern before returning to the NBA with the Orlando Magic and then going back to the Wizards.

The NBA also announced that its Advisory/Finance Committee met Tuesday afternoon via conference call and discussed recent media appearances by Sterling and his wife, Shelly Sterling. It also was updated on the hiring of Dick Parsons as Clippers interim CEO and his meeting with Clippers employees.

In addition, league spokesman Mike Bass said, the committee "reviewed the status of the charge for termination of the Clippers' ownership. The Committee will reconvene next week."
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