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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT

Interview with Mike Tyson; Interview with Usain Bolt; Interview with Isiah Thomas; Interview with Oscar Pistorius

Aired December 1, 2012 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


PIERS MORGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, the return of the most feared man in boxing, "Iron" Mike Tyson, unvarnished, as always.

(BEGIN VIIDO CLIP)

MIKE TYSON: I haven't (ph) had many happiness (inaudible).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Mike Tyson, on the state of America.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TYSON: The Republican Party has to somehow, somehow change.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: To the state of Lindsey Lohan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TYSON: She's not as bad as I was, but she's catching up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Also, hoop dreams. Basketball great Isiah Thomas's mission to end the gun violence in his home town.

And he can't just run, he can sing, too.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

USAIN BOLT, SPRINTER (singing): Let's get together and feel all right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: My hero, Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive, the fastest man in history, on winning fame and the future. Plus, another speed demon, the one and only blade runner, Oscar Pistorius.

Usain Bolt is, hands down, the fastest person on the planet. He's the fastest guy who's ever run in the history of Planet Earth.

The world watched him win three more Gold Medals at the London Olympics and shatter record after record.

Simply put, there's no one else quite like the Golden Bolt.

If I sound like a dolt and if I sound a little excited, Usain, it's because you're my hero.

So apart from the fact that you support a terrible British soccer team...

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: -- you are my hero.

So how does that make you feel?

USAIN BOLT, SPRINTER: I -- I feel good. I feel good.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: How many people do you meet on a daily basis that go, you are my hero?

BOLT: A lot -- a lot of people...

(LAUGHTER)

BOLT: -- especially when I travel. I get -- I get a lot of that. So it's cool.

MORGAN: When I was young, there was something about -- I remember my first Olympics I really noticed was when Valeriy Borzov, on the 100 meters, the Russian. And from that moment, there are lots of great events at the Olympics. But for me, the 100 meter dash is the greatest test of a man.

BOLT: It's true.

MORGAN: How do you feel? When you get down on those blocks and you're about to explode, what actually goes through the Golden Bolt's mind?

BOLT: You -- all you try to do is just relax, really. For me, it's always just trying to compose myself, try to not think about anything, because as soon as something comes into your mind, then, you are going to be in a lot of trouble.

So for me, I try to clear my mind as quickly as possible. I just take some deep breaths.

MORGAN: See, my theory is that you were deliberately not running that quick for the previous year-and-a-half...

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: -- luring us all into this sense that it was all over.

BOLT: (INAUDIBLE).

MORGAN: Finished. Because he can't do it anymore. Flake (ph) is going to take him. And I thought, no, he's not. You were saving yourself.

BOLT: Well, a lot of people -- I think when you win a championship, you know, at times, you know, a lot of big championship, at times, you get a little off -- off track, because you are the best and you're happy and you're proud of yourself. So you tend to celebrate and enjoy yourself a little bit too much and lose focus.

But that's why it's good to have a good team around you, so your team can support you and show you and continue to just push you forward, really, so.

MORGAN: What does it take to be a champion, not just any old champion, to be a great champion?

BOLT: Well, it's just hard work. For me, it was just hard work and dedication and, as I said, you -- you just need a team, because, for me, I remember this year, I was going on good and I thought I was -- yes, I was doing well, doing well. And then all of a sudden I got to the trials, I lost. And then I was like, whoo.

And then I -- I refocused and I really talked to my coach, talked to my friends, talked to my agent. Everybody, they came together and they explained to me, there's no need to worry, especially my coach. We have three or four weeks to go and one month. Let's just put the work in. Sacrifice a few things and we'll get it done. So I did just that.

MORGAN: What is it that motivates you most now? Is it the winning? Is it being the champ? Is it money? Is it fame? Is it the women?

Is it all of it, do you think?

BOLT: It's everything. It's -- it's all those factors.

(LAUGHTER)

BOLT: It's all those factors. Everything comes together, I -- I think.

But to me, a -- the fans are one of the biggest things for me. I really enjoy just going out and performing for the fans -- the energy that they give me.

I think this year, the Olympics, I went out there and when I got there in the heat, there was so much people in the stands that early in the morning that I was so surprised. I was like, why?

Every championship I've been to, it's been like 300 people. Everybody has come out. A few people might come out and watch because they are really into track and field. But at London, early in the morning, everybody was out. Like it was full from the morning sessions. So for me the energy that I got in London was wonderful.

MORGAN: I was walking around London and all I could see were people going like this...

BOLT: Yes.

MORGAN: -- everywhere.

BOLT: (INAUDIBLE).

MORGAN: Everybody wanted to be the Bolt.

BOLT: Yes, there was a lot of -- there was a lot of that going on.

MORGAN: Is the secret -- because you Jamaicans are flying down every track at that moment, winning everything. Is the secret yams?

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Is there something...

BOLT: No.

MORGAN: -- in the Jamaican yam...

BOLT: I think it may have something to do with yams. I used to eat a lot of yams. If there's one thing I wasn't short of when I was growing up was yams.

But I don't eat yams that much now. I think I had too much when I was young, so...

MORGAN: Who -- who are your...

BOLT: -- I laid off.

MORGAN: -- who are your heroes, sporting heroes?

BOLT: For me, uh, Michael Johnson was definitely one. Don Quarrie was one, because he was a great corner and I was a 200-meter runner. I remember watching Maurice Greene. These guys had a lot of energy.

MORGAN: Now, you mentioned Michael Johnson as being one of your heroes. I've got bad news for you, Usain. He doesn't think you can run very well.

BOLT: Yes.

MORGAN: Here's a clip from my interview with him in London. watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL JOHNSON: Well, I'm a fan of his speed, that's for sure. His style is, it's not that great, actually, which is amazing, because biomechanically, he's not as good as some of the other guys, like his countryman, Asafa Powell, or the American record holder, Tyson Gay, who are very efficient, very good sprinters technically. Bolt is not as good as they are technically, which is just amazing, because if he were, just imagine what he could run.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: So he doesn't think you can run very well.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Your thoughts?

BOLT: What can I say? I remember -- I remember at the Olympics...

MORGAN: I mean coming from him, he hasn't exactly got the most graceful style, has he?

(LAUGHTER)

BOLT: Well, I think -- I remember at the Olympics, the first Olympics in Beijing, I remember when I was going to run the 200 meters. And they said, oh, Michael Johnson, do you think he -- he's going to bring the world record? And Michael Johnson was saying, no, I don't think he -- he's technically not right. He needs to work on his form, as he was saying.

And then when I broke it, he was like, OK.

(LAUGHTER)

BOLT: So, I'm saying everybody -- everybody has their own opinion on things, and I think he -- he has a fair opinion on my technical side. It is not perfect. But I'm getting there.

MORGAN: What do you feel about cheating in sport? And the reason I ask you is the Lance Armstrong report came out and was devastating. And every great athlete must have read it and gone, wow.

BOLT: (INAUDIBLE).

MORGAN: -- there's this guy, one of the great champions, seven times Tour de France winner, clearly just a terrible cheat.

BOLT: For me, it's -- it's hard -- it's hard to -- to sit back and -- and look into sports and see these things, especially when you are trying to work so hard to convince the people in your sport that, uh, we -- we are doing this clean now, we're working hard to do our best. And then this comes out.

Then everybody sits back and really take a view on everybody and all the champions back in the day and present ones also. So to me, it's hard for us, really hard. MORGAN: Should the punishment be -- be stronger? Because at the moment, you can have like a two year suspension, come back, and you can compete in Olympic Games. I mean I don't think you should be able to do that.

BOLT: I think it depends on what, because it's hard for us athletes, because some of us -- take, for instance, some of us, we -- you may get a -- an energy drink, just a simple energy, and if you go to a party and you know what -- you don't want to drink a beer. So you're like, you know what, let's have an energy drink.

And they have too much caffeine or too -- or certain things that's in there, that's a banned substance. And then all of a sudden you're banned for life.

So sometimes, it's different on the rules. So for me, I think the rules are OK now. But, they're cracking -- they're doing a good job to crack down in my sport. So I think well, that the IWF was doing a really good job to make sure they catch people and put them under pressure in every way.

MORGAN: Now, how is your singing voice?

Because, obviously, there's another famous Jamaicans, Bob Marley. And I want to know whether you can basically sing like Marley?

BOLT: No. I've got -- I've got nothing.

MORGAN: Nothing? You've got no game?

BOLT: No. No.

MORGAN: I can't believe there's...

BOLT: I can't...

MORGAN: -- anything you're not good at.

BOLT: I can't. I can't...

MORGAN: Really?

BOLT: -- I can't really sing. No. That's not my talent.

MORGAN: Not even a bit of...

BOLT: That's not my talent.

MORGAN: No?

BOLT: I've tried, though, but...

MORGAN: Can you do any Bob Marley for me?

BOLT: Oh, the one -- my one song which I always sing is like...

(singing): One love, one heart, let's get together and feel all right.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: You can sing.

BOLT: (INAUDIBLE) OK -- OK, because that's...

MORGAN: I knew you could sing.

BOLT: -- because that's the only song I really know, so I've practiced it a lot.

MORGAN: I knew you could sing.

BOLT: It's a worldwide song. When I go anywhere, and I start singing, the crowd just takes over.

MORGAN: But, also, I've never been to the -- I go to the West Indies at least twice a year, and I've never met any West Indian who can't sing or play cricket.

BOLT: Oh, yes. We -- we play a lot of cricket and football now.

MORGAN: Let's talk Rio. Are you going to -- are you going to go for it in Rio?

BOLT: Without a doubt.

MORGAN: How many -- how many real -- as you sit here now, how many do you think you can race in Rio?

BOLT: Well, I've -- well, I've -- I've mentioned this to my coach and I've said it to him. We haven't talked about it, but I've said it to him. He says it depends on how I work throughout my -- my -- the next four years.

If I try to push myself too much or put myself under too much strain. So it all depends on what I want to do.

So if I want to take it easy for the next couple of years and just do enough to win or to win championships or stuff like that, or we go all out and just hope for the best in Rio.

But I think if I manage it right, there's the possibility that I can -- I could do it.

MORGAN: And you'll be wearing these little beauties. They're very...

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: -- understated little things.

BOLT: Yes, they're light. MORGAN: These are Puma, right?

BOLT: (INAUDIBLE) yes. They're light for the size.

MORGAN: They're very light.

BOLT: Yes.

MORGAN: Incredibly light.

BOLT: Yes.

MORGAN: Do you wear these?

BOLT: Yes.

MORGAN: These weigh literally nothing.

BOLT: (INAUDIBLE).

MORGAN: Huh?

BOLT: That's the key, though.

MORGAN: Incredible.

Usain, there's a question I always ask people. If you had five minutes to live and I had the power to relive a moment for you from your life, what would you choose?

BOLT: World Junior Championships, 2002.

MORGAN: Why that?

BOLT: It was -- it was one of my -- it was a life-changing experience for me in every sense. It was -- in Jamaica, I was nervous. I remember I was so nervous at the beginning of the race, I couldn't do anything. I couldn't -- it was pretty much the -- I couldn't stride. I couldn't -- couldn't think straight.

But I won the race, and the energy that I got from the crowd and the joy and everything was -- it was just a wonderful moment for me.

MORGAN: And the final question, another question I ask all -- most of my guests, how many times have you been properly in love in your life, other than with yourself?

(LAUGHTER)

BOLT: Properly in love, I've got to go once.

MORGAN: Once?

BOLT: Yes. I was -- I was -- I had a girlfriend for seven years, so...

MORGAN: Did she break your heart?

BOLT: Vice versa.

MORGAN: Oh, really?

BOLT: We both -- we both had our problems. We both did bad stuff. But I think we're still friends, so that's a good thing, though.

MORGAN: Well, Usain, it's been a great pleasure. You remain, despite your terrible football team, you remain...

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: -- you remain my hero.

Congratulations on a brilliant -- you put it away, please.

BOLT: All right.

MORGAN: You're making me feel (INAUDIBLE).

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: It's great to see you.

BOLT: It was a pleasure. It was a pleasure.

MORGAN: The one and only Usain Bolt.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Oscar Pistorius is the one and only blade runner. The world champion sprinter, the (inaudible) double amputee is a Paralympian and an Olympian. He continues to shatter records, as we saw in London this summer.

And he joins me now.

Oscar, welcome.

OSCAR PISTORIUS, PARALYMPIAN/OLYMPIAN: Thank you very much.

MORGAN: How does it feel to be an inspiration for literally people who are disabled the entire world over, as you are now, thanks to the Olympics?

PISTORIUS: Yes, I think it's a massive blessing. You know, I've been very privileged to be given a talent and -- and over the last seven or eight years, I've worked very hard at working on it and -- and making sure that I can be the best athlete that it can be. And, obviously, being an international sportsman, there's a lot of responsibility that comes with that, so having to toggle that and -- and remembering, you know, that there are kids out there, especially, that look up to you it's definitely something that you need to keep at the back of your mind.

MORGAN: What somebody said to me was that the amazing thing that you've done, Oscar, is that for all those kids who have lost a leg or lost two legs or whatever it may be that their -- their amputation in particular that they've -- they've suffered, in the old days, it was so stigmatized, they would be picked on at school. They would feel different.

What you've done is make it cool to be an amputee, which may not have been your intention...

PISTORIUS: Yes.

MORGAN: -- but they just all what to be like Oscar now.

PISTORIUS: Thanks. I mean I've always, you know, I grew up in a family where a disability was never an issue. We didn't really speak about my disability, not because it was a topic that was taboo or -- or that we thought there was a stereotype in our family, but it was just never an issue. And that's the mentality that I've had. So if I've got a, you know, a (INAUDIBLE) after or training in the afternoon, I see a child and he's staring at my prosthetic legs, often the parent turns the kid away. And with us, the pretense of a child who thinks, OK, this is something we don't talk about. And a -- you know, they develop a -- a mentality of kind of shying away from disability and not being educated about it.

And I think that's what creates the difficulty in society. So I'll go after the kid and I'll say, look, you know, my name is Oscar and I've got these cool prosthetic legs, and, you know, I'll tell them an interesting story, (INAUDIBLE) shock or if the mother is good- looking...

(LAUGHTER)

PISTORIUS: -- if the mother is good-looking, I'll tell them that it's because I wasn't eating my vegetables and get some brownie points there.

(LAUGHTER)

PISTORIUS: But ultimately, you know, I told him that I don't have legs and -- and I can live a very normal life. So I think that gives them the -- the kind of base that they need that the next time they see somebody, either in a wheelchair or with a disability, they're not bewildered, they don't, they're not -- you know, they're educated about that person's position and it's -- it's not as different then as -- as I think many of the older generations grew up with, it was something you wouldn't talk about.

MORGAN: You were born without the fibula bone in either leg. And so just be -- around your first anniversary, your first year, you had a double amputation. As you say, your family just basically ignored it. You -- you started playing sport and everything from a very early age, which is obviously crucial to the development, and I guess, the confidence that you would have when you were young. But what is that moment when a man with no legs decides, I know what I'm going to do, I'm going to be a sprinter?

And the reason I ask you, I interviewed the armless archer from the American...

PISTORIUS: I watched...

MORGAN: -- Paralympian team...

PISTORIUS: -- I watched it.

MORGAN: -- who was incredible, as well. And watching him do his stuff in here was like watching you run. It's like of all the things to choose, why that?

PISTORIUS: Oh, actually, I met him at the Paralympics, and I watched that -- your interview with him and -- and I had a long chat with him. And, you know, sport has always been a big part of my life. We grew up in South Africa, where most kids really enjoy the outdoors. I was never much of an academic at school, so I kind of had to shine and -- and find something where, where -- which -- which I enjoyed.

And -- and I started sports and -- and from a very young age, my mother said to us, you know, sport is not about being the best, but it's about giving your best, and, you know, you might make the second or third team, but losing isn't the person that -- that doesn't get involved -- losing, you know, isn't -- losing isn't the one that gets involved and comes last, it's the person that doesn't get involved in the first place.

So for us, that was very important. And, you know, there are a lot of athletes at the Paralympics that have a certain amount of disabilities. And at your initial, you know, approach on them, you'd think that, you know, that they wouldn't be able to do a lot of the things they -- they -- they can.

But after watching their sports, you often forget about their disability and you are just blown away by their shared determination and -- and the hard core element of the sport. It's not just inspiration, it's some of the most phenomenal sports that I've ever witnessed.

MORGAN: We know you (INAUDIBLE) as a Paralympian. And you've been a hero in that for a long time. But the great moment, I would imagine, for you -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- would have been the first time you appeared at the Olympics this summer, as the first guy ever with (INAUDIBLE).

PISTORIUS: I mean, that was a blessing for me. I really enjoyed the, you know, the Olympic experience. And since I started running in 2004, most of my races have been, you know, races against able-bodied athletes. We just have a lot more races every season. And in 2007, I started running internationally in the able-bodied circuit, the (INAUDIBLE) circuit, (INAUDIBLE) Olympic by less than a quarter of a second. And that was the year that I really looked at things and said, you know, if I get this opportunity again, I definitely don't want to miss it.

So I worked really hard since '08 and -- and managed to qualify last year, already, for this year's games. And...

MORGAN: And when you -- when you walked out at the Olympic Stadium in London, describe that moment, the first time.

PISTORIUS: I think, you know, that was -- that was definitely, for me, one of the most special moments of the summer. You know, the Olympics, I had four races. In the Paralympics, I had seven races.

But the first time being out there in the stadium was just really special. It wasn't the race, necessarily. I came out and I saw my grandmother -- she was 89 years old. And she'd flown all the way from South Africa with her pacemaker and all. And she was sitting there with my family and I hadn't seen them in months. We'd been running on the circuit, so...

MORGAN: What did she say to you?

PISTORIUS: She was just crying. She had a little flag and...

(LAUGHTER)

PISTORIUS: She was just super (INAUDIBLE) and just to see them, you know, I knew everything was going to be amazing and that I'd give my best.

And I ran my second fastest race ever that day, in the 400 meter, so that was very special, and just knowing all that hard work, not only for myself, but, you know, I've got a great team behind me, to my good credit, great coaches and -- and professional staff.

So all our work over the last four or five years has paid off. And seeing my -- my grandmother and my family there really made it worthwhile.

MORGAN: I interviewed Michael Johnson in London. And he wasn't overly impressed with you...

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: -- to put it mildly.

Let's watch a clip of this interview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNSON: In order to be totally objective about the situation, which is all about at the end of the day, see, it's not about Oscar, it's about fair competition. And when you're talking about fair competition, you have to take personalities and people out of it and just look at the rules. And if an athlete gets an advantage over another athlete, it's unfair. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Now, I did go on to point out to Michael Johnson, literally, the guy has no legs. How can you be so churlish? But when you see a great like him -- and he's a -- he's a great guy. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting him. It was a great privilege and he's obviously a tremendous athlete -- does he have a point? And do you understand that argument?

PISTORIUS: I'm actually really good friends with Michael. And I've -- I've said many times and we've had many long discussions. He's a -- he's definitely one of the guys I look up to, and I understand his point. You know, I've sent him the case study that I was involved in. It's, I understand his -- his point exactly. You know, he's saying that there needs to be fairness in sports. And -- and I agree with that. I've always been a very big kind of advocate for -- for fair play.

When it comes to the prosthetic legs that I use, they've been made since 1996. And they've made over 30,000 pairs. And just from a -- from a practical point of view, there have never been any per -- amputee athletes that have ran remotely close to the times I'm running on the 400, you know, competitive with able-bodied times.

We -- me -- I made myself available for testing through some of the scientists at MIT back in 2008. And we took it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. And the Court of Arbitration for Sport's ruling process is what Michael is talking about.

I understand where he's coming from. You know, they ruled in my favor, and we proved that the tests, that the auto blades (ph) weren't sufficient and that the outcome was -- was -- was -- was (INAUDIBLE) that they didn't equate to the outcome of the tests.

MORGAN: So, basically, you're in the right and he's in the wrong.

(LAUGHTER)

PISTORIUS: Yes.

MORGAN: That's -- that's the long (INAUDIBLE), right?

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: No, here's what's interesting about you, because you seem such a lovely guy. You're polite. You're charming. You're the poster boy now for running around the world.

And yet there was a little moment, a little flash, Oscar, in the Paralympics when you lost, in the 400, I think it was, to this Brazilian...

PISTORIUS: Yes.

MORGAN: -- wonder guy. PISTORIUS: 200--

MORGAN: And he had - 200, was it? And he had longer blades then you did. And afterward, in the trackside interview, you went absolutely tonto (ph), basically saying the same stuff about him that Michael Johnson says about you.

PISTORIUS: No, it's very different. I mean--

(LAUGHTER)

PISTORIUS: -- I -- I agree, you know, I did, it wasn't maybe the right time. I think -- I think I'm still learning and I'm certainly going to learn a lot more lessons throughout my life.

MORGAN: I had to give you a bit of (INAUDIBLE) on Twitter for that outburst.

(LAUGHTER)

PISTORIUS: I saw that. That's OK.

(LAUGHTER)

PISTORIUS: It's all right. We all make mistakes. And...

MORGAN: What do you think now about that debate, because...

PISTORIUS: Well, I mean I'm...

MORGAN: -- clearly, it's not going to go away. So as you -- now you've had time to calm down and reflect on it, what do you think?

PISTORIUS: No, it is definitely a debate that needed to be brought up. And, you know, I had done so. And it's -- it's being taken up now by my national Paralympic committee. They're dealing with it with the RPC. You know, there was a regulation that allowed the double amputees to make their legs exceptionally long. I didn't do it. And it wasn't the right time to take it up. And I should have actually even -- you know, even now, I mean, I've given it off to my national Paralympic committee to deal with.

So, you know, well done to Alan. And I think he is a -- a tremendous athlete. And I think it was the most - it was the first race I'd ever lost in -- in the Paralympics ...

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: Be honest.

PISTORIUS: Yes, one of those days.

(LAUGHTER)

PISTORIUS: I think -- hopefully -- hopefully -- hopefully I won't have another one of those. But ultimately, I think we all have them in life.

MORGAN: My sons are on your side.

PISTORIUS: Thank you.

MORGAN: They -- they love...

PISTORIUS: (INAUDIBLE).

MORGAN: -- they love the fashions (ph). And they -- they -- you're their hero. You know, as you are to so many young people...

PISTORIUS: Thank you.

MORGAN: -- around the world.

It's been a great pleasure to meet you, Oscar. Best of luck to you.

Are you going to run in Rio?

PISTORIUS: Yes, we're going to -- that's the plan. Work hard every year, improve, you know, even on the non-championship and Paralympic -- Olympic years, improve. And I've got a phenomenal team behind me, and I hope (INAUDIBLE)...

MORGAN: And how are you dealing with the millions of women that have been attracted to you...

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: -- since your Olympic appearances?

PISTORIUS: I haven't had much time to think about that. I've got a -- I'm seeing somebody in South Africa. She's a -- she's a great girl. And it just, you know, it's just taking life as it comes, you know. I'll start training in two-and-a-half weeks. And my mind is in the right place, though.

MORGAN: I'm not so sure about that, Oscar. Nice to meet you.

PISTORIUS: Thank you, sir.

God bless you.

MORGAN: Oscar Pistorius, a remarkable man.

Coming up next, Only In America.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

DEREK ROSE, CHICAGO BULLS: It's truly a blessing that -- well, with all this stuff that is going on in this city, a kid from Englewood's got something positive going on. That makes me feel so good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose breaking down about the state of his beloved city of Chicago during a recent news conference. The city is desperate to end the wave of deadly gun violence.

They turned to former NBA star Isiah Thomas to help. He's a Chicago native and he might be one of the greatest basketball players in history, and he joins me now.

Isiah, welcome.

ISIAH THOMAS, BASKETBALL PLAYER: Thank you. Thank you.

MORGAN: Let's talk about Chicago. I've been there a few times in the last 20 months or so since I've been on this show. It's a beautiful city. People are incredibly friendly. And yet there's this utter carnage. There's no other way of describing it, going on in the backwaters of this city, which is completely out of control.

What is the answer?

THOMAS: Well, I believe the answer is education and I believe if we can find a way to get the kids to communicate -- and, seriously, arm them with education, then I think they can make the correct choices.

Right now, you can't incarcerate poverty and a lot of the kids are living in poverty. A lot of the anger, a lot of the pain and shame that comes with poverty needs to be talked about, needs to be treated, it needs to be discussed. And the way to do those things is through the educational system.

MORGAN: Here's what I want to know, because there is rampant poverty in many parts of the world, and many parts of the world that have it do not have anything like the gun crime that Chicago in particular now has.

What is it about the youth in Chicago that is making them do this to each other? What is behind this?

THOMAS: You know, I ask the same question. And really, the -- a lot of the answers that I get is, you know, we don't have recreation facilities. We don't have enough access to the proper things to do after school. There's unemployment.

And I said to one of the gang members, I said, you know, just as you said to me, you know, well, that doesn't give you the right to go out and kill somebody. You know, and again, if we can arm them with education and they can make really good choices and they can critically think their way through this situation, while living in poverty, but not harming their brother or their sister --

MORGAN: What is it about the gun that is so appealing to these young gang members in Chicago? THOMAS: You know, I'm a kid that grew up in poverty, so I understand that, you know, there -- you thirst and you want acknowledgement and power. You want --

MORGAN: And respect?

THOMAS: Respect, power. You want the ability to have some kind of say over your life that can stimulate some type of change or feel good. And that's where the education comes in and what we're saying to the kids now is, you know, Tupac had a great line. He said, "No one notices the youth until they shoot."

And now we notice -- now we notice the youth. So now they have power and instead of them being the problem, they can also turn around and be the solution.

MORGAN: Let's talk about basketball. You were obviously a New York Knicks coaching legend. Would you ever let -- ever let Jeremy Lin go? I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I became a Knicks fan when I joined CNN, went to a lot of games, got into Linsanity, just when I was at my apex of thrilled enjoyment and all of that went with him. They got rid of him.

THOMAS: You know, he had a love affair with this city, and in sport, that is so rare and was so magical. And what he did and the way he played, I mean he was putting up fantastic numbers. Crowds were coming out. It was -- it was truly, you know, Linsanity.

MORGAN: Would you have let him go, if you were -- if you'd still been the Knicks coach?

THOMAS: You know, I am so glad that I didn't have anything to do with that deal --

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: But you're copping out on the answer.

THOMAS: -- and I'm so glad that I didn't have to make that--

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: I'm going to give you one more chance to answer this, Isiah. Would you have sold or allowed them to sell Jeremy Lin if he was playing for you at the time?

THOMAS: You know, with such a direct question, I think it deserves a direct answer. And had I been sitting in the chair, I would have done my best to try to make everybody happy.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: (Inaudible) Knicks fans watching, you had a pretty controversial tenure with the Knicks. Any plans to come back one day?

THOMAS: Well, you know, you never say never. Right now, my focus is on completing my master's. I'm working on my master's at Berkeley. I'm in school now. I'm running my businesses, and I'm also heavily involved in this youth and gang violence issue.

My mom said, you know, never burn any bridges, you know, I wish the Knicks well. I have a lot of good and close personal friends there. I root for them. I want them to do well. I have some college buddies there.

MORGAN: So the door is open?

THOMAS: Well, I don't know. Well, for me, I never close any door. That's what Mom taught me --

MORGAN: There's a possibility. Here's my -- here's my suggestion. What you should do is wait for the Knicks to have a terrible season. And then I will help you resign Jeremy Lin and go back in glory.

THOMAS: Well, we may be waiting for a while, because I think they're going to have a good season.

MORGAN: They've got a good team.

THOMAS: I think they got a good team, they got a great coach, they got good personnel, they got good people in the front office. I mean, they've done a good job in putting it all together.

MORGAN: And the Nets moving to Brooklyn?

THOMAS: I like it.

MORGAN: You did?

THOMAS: I like it. I like it a lot, simply because it'll have a chance to create the true rivalry, Brooklyn and New York, that they -- that they want here. New Jersey and the Knicks never quite really, you know, hit the bar in terms of the type of rivalry that I think they want here.

And I think it's going to be good. I think the uniforms are really hot. I'm a big fan of Jay-Z, you know, I like what they're doing. I like the type of team that they're trying to build.

MORGAN: Isiah Thomas, it's been a real pleasure.

THOMAS: Likewise. I hope we get a chance to discuss-

MORGAN: So do I. Come back when Jeremy Lin is going to return. Isiah Thomas. And we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Mike Tyson over the years. He is one of a kind in and out of the ring. A boxing champ, he's had his challenges and triumphs. And he is back with me again tonight. Mike, how are you?

MIKE TYSON, FORMER HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD: I'm doing great. Thank you.

MORGAN: I want to talk to you about a few things in the news. Because a lot of things, it seems to me, are things that you'll have a view about. First of all, President Obama re-elected. You must have been a happy man.

TYSON: Man, man, man, that's -- I don't even know what to say about that. That's just something that we never in America -- I'm talking about Americans in general, not just black Americans -- just Americans in general thought we would never even view, but just to witness that and just the population that he has -- it's just amazing.

MORGAN: You think he's done a good enough job to deserve being re-elected?

TYSON: Absolutely. It's just the Republicans did such a bad job not to get elected. And he's just awesome. He's just awesome. The Republican party's going to have to change their whole way of handling politics in order to change, because people are changing.

MORGAN: Why are the Republicans so out of touch?

TYSON: We have to have some Republican representative and he has to tell you. I have no idea.

MORGAN: That's very diplomatic of you, Mike.

TYSON: It's true.

MORGAN: You're becoming diplomatic in your old age.

TYSON: No, I'm just becoming very truthful, because it's just unbelievable, inconceivable how people still have the same mentality.

MORGAN: When you go back to your old streets and you meet your old guys and so on, what do you think the real cares and fears of the average American on the street are right now?

TYSON: Health care. There's people that haven't been to the doctor in 20 years, seen the doctor, because they can't afford it. And man, there's just some hunger, homelessness. And we're talking about the land of plenty. So it's just difficult.

So people -- we're in dire straits right now as far as hope. I believe Obama and Mr. Biden, vice president, give the people in that desperational need that hope.

MORGAN: You've had times in your life when you've had absolutely nothing, no money, no hope, nothing. You've had times in your life when you've had hundreds of millions of dollars. Then you lost it, and now you're getting back there again. Tell me about what the difference is, psychologically, when you have nothing, when you have money. Where is real happiness throughout that process?

TYSON: Real happiness from my perspective, I can only tell you -- as you're asking me, from my ordeals in life and challenges. It all comes from the inside. I never had any happiness (inaudible) -- that's how come I was always chaotic. I was addicted to chaos. I am looking for happiness on the outside somewhere, and it really doesn't exist out there in the world.

So it has to be within. It's mostly like an inside job. And I learned all this stuff when I went to my rehab, my rehab stint, when I got involved with the recovery program. And I realized that this is what happiness is, what we make out of it. You know, the reason why I'm not in trouble anymore, that I'm not in problems with any women, I'm not fighting with anybody in clubs, because I'm not involved in that lifestyle anymore. Being involved with these programs, these recovery programs, helped me have some kind of barometer for my life.

MORGAN: How much has your one-man tour helped you? Because I went to see it with my sons in Las Vegas. And they were completely gripped by your story and the way that you tell it. Very eloquent, very passionate, very honest, good and bad, about the stuff you've been through. But every time I see you now, you seem even calmer, like going over everything that's happened in your life has calmed you down. You've come to terms with all of the bad stuff.

TYSON: I'm calm now because I have my wife in my life and my children. But I don't -- see, when I do my show, I don't do it as Mike Tyson doing the show. The show wouldn't last five minutes. I start talking about my life and I start feeling sorry for myself. So I look at myself, this is just an actor portraying Mike Tyson, talking about Mike Tyson's life. I have to do it from that kind of exterior, because if I don't, I'll fall apart. I'll feel sorry for myself.

I was poor and my mother was on welfare and slept with a lot of men or something like that. I'll start feeling sorry for myself, in that perspective. Even though it turned out well.

MORGAN: When you see somebody like Lindsey Lohan -- she was in trouble again yesterday in New York, arrested for assault and so on -- clearly a very troubled girl, been in and out of jail now. You went through all that process when you were younger. She's got problems with fame, with her parents, with all of it. What advice could you give somebody like that?

TYSON: You know, I wanted Lindsey to win so bad. I want her to win so bad. And it all comes down to, like I was explaining before, you do what you have to want to do. She's not as bad as I was, but she's catching up. She's going to get there soon. And it's just a bad, dark place to be.

MORGAN: What does she need to do, Mike, to get out of it?

TYSON: She needs a good support system. She needs somebody. She needs an epiphany. She needs this paradigm shift in her life, to realize that everything that she learned in life, even the good stuff that allows her to succeed in life, is all a lie, and how we have to start all over, find out what's true and what's not true.

MORGAN: Do you know her? Have you met her before?

TYSON: I've met her, yes.

MORGAN: What do you think of her?

TYSON: I think she's an awesome person that's just got to get it together. Maybe she believes she has it together. I think she's a good person. And I don't think she's the person that the media makes her out to be. No one could be that person. She just can't be that person, you know. Probably spoiled. You know, we get upset when we don't have our way and things don't turn out the way we want to be, in life, in life terms is just kicking us in the butt.

I don't know. And sometimes we can't handle it. And we deserve as human beings to have our breakdowns. Unfortunately for her or somebody like me, we do it in front of hundreds of millions of people. That's not fair, but it is what it is.

MORGAN: Let's take a short break. Let's come back and talk a bit of boxing through Justin Bieber, who you helped.

TYSON: I didn't help him. He knew how to fight before. I can't teach somebody to box like that the first day I meet them.

MORGAN: I am also going to show you footage of me fighting against Manny Pacquiao that may unnerve you. Watch out for the left hook, mate. Freddy Roach is still having surgery.

TYSON: He's too fast.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Mike Tyson in a hilarious scene from "Hangover 2." I'm back with the boxing legend. You are a good actor, Mike. Loved you in those films.

TYSON: Thank you. Thank you.

MORGAN: But I hear you're not in the third one.

TYSON: Listen, I'm just very grateful I was in the first and second one. That did enough for me.

MORGAN: You're the star of the trilogy. They can't cut you out.

TYSON: Hey, I'm just grateful. I'm thankful they let me be in the movie.

MORGAN: Really. Do you still keep pigeons?

TYSON: I have at least a hundred at my house now, yes.

MORGAN: You love them, don't you?

TYSON: Yes, that's what I do.

MORGAN: What is it about the pigeon?

TYSON: I can' tell you. It's just that's what I do.

MORGAN: When you're with them, what do you feel?

TYSON: I feel like I'm in heaven. I just feel like I don't have to hear from my children, my wife or nobody. I'm just looking at my birds, and I'm happy.

MORGAN: You're totally at peace when you're with them.

TYSON: Yes.

MORGAN: Amazing. You have always been like that with them?

TYSON: Always. Always. If I didn't have my pigeons, my marriage would be a mess.

MORGAN: Really? So your wife's happy about the pigeons.

TYSON: She loves them.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: I want to show you a bit of footage.

TYSON: She's trying to get them out of the garage so she can put her car in the garage.

MORGAN: How selfish of her.

TYSON: I said a car? These are living creatures that have breath. They have a heart and you're going to let them freeze outside, so they can't go inside because of a car? A car? A car doesn't have a heart. It gets you into accidents. It gets flats.

MORGAN: Exactly.

TYSON: Runs out of gas. It costs you money.

MORGAN: Pigeons never run out of gas.

TYSON: Never. Never.

MORGAN: I want to just talk briefly about the person I think was the most instrumental guy in effectively saving you. And that was Cus D'Amato. He was your great trainer. When I watched the one man show, you talked so emotionally about him and the way that he took you and turned you into the most ferocious fighter in the world.

But what was interesting to me was what he thought about you as well. I want to play you this from him. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CUS D'AMATO, FORMER AMERICAN BOXING MANAGER: I often say to him, you know, I owe you a lot. And he doesn't know what I mean. I am going to tell him now what I mean.

If he weren't here, I probably wouldn't be alive today. The fact that he is here and doing what he is doing and doing as well as he is doing and improving as he has gives me the motivation and interest to stay alive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: When you hear him say that -- he passed away in 1985, but I mean, before some of your biggest wins. When you hear him talk about what you did to him and for his life, what do you feel?

TYSON: I don't know. I think, wow, this is a hard man. I say, wow, that's awesome that he feels that way. I would never say thank you. I know not to do that. I just know when he said that, he inspired me more to succeed for him.

MORGAN: Does everybody that comes from your kind of background, Mike, a difficult background -- you have this charity, the Mike Tyson Cares foundation, to give children from broken homes a fighting chance, building innovative centers that provide for their needs, for disadvantaged kids. You were one of those kids. Does everybody need somebody like a Cus D'Amato to just get a grip of them?

TYSON: Listen, I don't know if someone needs someone like Cus. Because Cus is not made for everyone. He's a little too rugged around the edges. But everybody needs someone to admire and look up to, that that they want to please. And that's what I had in Cus, somebody that I wanted to make happy, somebody I didn't want to get arrested and have to look at him, somebody that I didn't want to be using drugs, smoking, then have to face him. He didn't have to say words. I was like, oh God, I wish I were dead.

Those are the people that we need. We need people that we need to aspire to be like or look up to, that they bring out the best in us. We know they want us to be the best in life.

MORGAN: Your one man show, you're continuing it. What are you going to do with it next?

TYSON: We're going to go all over, 36 cities across the nation. And these are the cities that asked for it. It's going to be interesting. My first city is going to be Indianapolis.

MORGAN: Really?

TYSON: The city I did my time in and stuff.

MORGAN: How will that feel?

TYSON: That's going to be pretty awesome. (LAUGHTER)

TYSON: I'm going to be there and I'm going to be free. I'm going to see my prosecutor, probably. I'm going to see my lawyer and probably my -- I give them invitations to come, of course (inaudible) a lot of money and stuff. That's going to be so cool and stuff.

MORGAN: We're going to take a final break. When we come back, we're going to do a little bit of sparring. Trust me, as you've seen from my left hook on Freddy Roach, I'm not any Justin Bieber, mate.

TYSON: You're going to be Rip van Winkle. You're going to wake up 85 years later.

MORGAN: These ears -- these ears are staying on, sunshine.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Back now with Mike Tyson. Mike, I hope you're ready for the main event. When was the last time you put on a pair of boxing gloves?

TYSON: Last time I got my ass kicked.

MORGAN: That -- that is what you call encouraging. Look, we've got about 30 seconds. I want a quick master class from the champ. If I was to really want to knock somebody out, what is the absolutely best way to do it?

TYSON: Knocking out is not necessarily having a hard punch. You see guys get hit with hard punches. The objective is to hit the guy with the punch and not allow them to see it.

MORGAN: How do you hide it?

TYSON: I don't know, you jab.

MORGAN: Easy, tiger.

TYSON: Right there.

MORGAN: I got it. On the run.

Do you know what? Even being near you wearing boxing gloves is intimidating. You're Mike Tyson.

TYSON: I don't have the same stuff no more.

MORGAN: Michael Spinks when he stood here was an unbeaten welterweight champion. He nearly killed himself even looking at you.

TYSON: Well, if he didn't do it, I was going to do it. If he didn't do it, I was going to do it.

MORGAN: Mike, I just want to have one quick jab and then we're done, OK. (LAUGHTER)

MORGAN. All over. Pacquiao, Tyson, I'm back. "AC 360," you can't do this.