In what sounds like Donald Sterling’s first public comments since he was banned for life by the NBA, the disgraced LA Clippers owner vehemently denies being a racist. Sterling also states that, legally, Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA can’t force him to sell the team. What a mess. Per Radar Online:

“You think I’m a racist?” Sterling angrily asks a long-time friend in the recorded phone conversation. “You think I have anything in the world but love for everybody? You don’t think that! You know I’m not a racist!”

“I grew up in East L.A …” Sterling explains. “I was the president of the high school there. I mean, and I’m a Jew! And 50% of the people there were black and 40% were hispanic. … So I mean, people must have a good feeling for me.”

But when asked whether he had spoken to mixed race Clippers player Blake Griffin since his racial slurs were released, Sterling insists, “I didn’t talk to anybody! I’m in my house in Beverly Hills.”

“I mean, how could you think I’m a racist knowing me all these years?” he asks his friend. “How can you be in this business and be a racist? Do you think I tell the coach to get white players? Or to get the best player he can get?”

Referencing the Instagram photo of Stiviano with Magic Johnson that sparked the whole brouhaha, a defeated Sterling said, “It breaks my heart that Magic Johnson, a guy that I respect so much, wouldn’t stand up and say, ‘Well let’s get the facts. Let’s get him and talk to him.’ Nobody tried. Nobody!”

Sterling is adamant he won’t back down. “You can’t force someone to sell property in America!” he rages. “I’m a lawyer, that’s my opinion.”