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Magic and Cookie Johnson have been married for 23 years, but there was a time when their marriage became strained, the couple says. They are on the July cover of Ebony magazine and they discuss everything from the craziness that is Donald Sterling to their openly gay son E.J., who stars on the E! reality show Rich Kids of Beverly Hills.

“We had our ups and downs. We had a period where we were about to separate,” Cookie told the magazine. “There was a point where I was home all the time; he was working. Sometimes you start growing apart a little because he’s seeing new adventurous stuff. He’s out in the world. He’s growing. [But] I’m stagnant.”

Johnson agreed that their marriage went through some difficult times.

“If I had kept going [that way] and the kids left, we would probably be divorced,” the NBA legend added. “Now we’re so connected to each other, but it took that situation to bring us back. I’ve always told Cookie, ‘The only thing I wanted was to grow old with you.’ [Now] we just look at each other and say how blessed we are.”

Click over to see the cover.

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