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Damian Lillard knew man “Fruitvale Station” is based on

Aug 5, 2013, 7:05 PM EDT

Damian Lillard AP

Around Hollywood, “Fruitvale Station” has come out of the gate as the movie to beat in the Oscars Best Picture race. It is the emotionally wrenching true story of Oscar Grant, an African-American living in Oakland who was shot in the back and killed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer while Grant was handcuffed and on the ground. The shooting on New Year’s Day 2009 sparked mass protests, both at the time of the shooting (which was recorded on video) and after a jury returned a verdict of involuntary manslaughter for the officer who fired the shot.

Damian Lillard knew Oscar Grant.

Portland’s Rookie of the Year, Lillard grew up in Oakland and talked about Grant and how the movie hit home for him in an interview with Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.

“He went to high school and played on the same football team as my brother,” Lillard said. “I used to always be around my brother at the high school and crossed paths with [Grant]. We were on the bus at the same time. We were always in the same areas….

“You don’t see a lot of movies that are actually based in Oakland and give a chance to see what people are going through there every day,” Lillard said. “It was nerve-wracking to see in the movie how they had everything down pat and how they eventually went through the day in the life of a lot of people, a lot of young men in Oakland.

“At the end it was breathtaking how [Grant] kept saying after he was shot that he had a daughter, you see how friends were [helpless] and see how his family came together. This wasn’t just a movie. This really happened. At that point, I kind of sat in my seat and was like, ‘Wow.’ “

Some people in life are just forced to grow up faster than others (as a parent, it’s something I kind of try to protect my daughter’s from, I want them to savor childhood). Part of that is just simply where you grow up and what you are forced to deal with as a result.

Lillard dealt with a lot and come through it a better, more mature man. That may make him a better basketball player, but any on-court benefit is secondary. The world just needs more stand-up people, thoughtful people.

Lillard told Yahoo he is trying to set up some programs for youth in Oakland (something Gary Payton and other Oakland natives have tried to do there). It may be a small step toward helping an area dealing with a rash of murders and violence, but it’s a step. And the fact Lillard is doing something says something about him.

  1. nflcrimerankingscom - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    Oakland is a $hithole

    • nflcrimerankingscom - Aug 5, 2013 at 9:39 PM

      Bullet don’t lie.

    • gettinbuckets513 - Aug 5, 2013 at 11:51 PM

      No your a sh$%t hole!

  2. kb2408 - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    It was one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. And that is no exaggeration.

  3. packfaninca - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    He wasn’t handcuffed when he was shot

    • styleelements015 - Aug 5, 2013 at 10:54 PM

      you’re a f$*king idiot.

      • packfaninca - Aug 6, 2013 at 4:00 PM

        Why? Because I corrected a mistake in the article?

  4. calicokiller49 - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    I don’t think he was handcuffed when he was shot, and it was pretty obvious the shooting was an accident. pretty sure it was all proven in court. but hey let’s just keep talking about how oppressed African Americans are, Damn cops and whitey out to get em all….the cop clearly didn’t have the stones to be a cop, and clearly couldn’t handle the stress, earlier in his shift they chased down a gun toting African American who jumped off the platform and broke a bunch of bones, wonder if that’s in the movie, but no let’s make a movie about a convicted felon, who was on parole, who was fighting, then being uncooperative with police officers. not saying this wasn’t a horrific accident, but let’s not turn it into something it aint

    • cmehustle - Aug 6, 2013 at 6:21 AM

      So shooting and killing an unarmed African American isn’t that bad? Is that your point here?

    • gettinbuckets513 - Aug 6, 2013 at 7:52 AM

      You sound like one of those DEVILS who burned down black wallstreet in Tulsa OK. Do you know this country systematically and overtly opressed black people for 400 plus years, and then after that Jim Crow? Now educated blacks don’t make as much as similar educated whites in 2013 but you think everythings equal, ha. Just because your broke and angry doesn’t mean blacks aren’t oppressed, no other group in America has gone through what blacks have, houses burned to the ground, lynchings etc were happening only 50 years ago, my grandfather was killed by a racist devil like you and you think blacks aren’t oppressed, Your a joke! The reason blacks love sports and do so well at is because its the closest thing to a true meritocracy that exists. I work in corporate american and the real world is the complete opposite.

      • calicokiller49 - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:40 AM

        You guys are the joke. Sorry for telling it like it is, obviously it was a horrific accident. Pretty sure I stated that. It was pretty obvious the cop made as bad a mistake as he possibly could’ve. I’m so sick of this whole race thing. Nobody does the history on slavery, first off, at first slaves were whites, so should i be mad? Slaves being black was basic economics, I know, , I’m a evil racist, give me a break. This was not a racial incident , but of course everybody turns it into one. Blacks were celebrating in the streets when o.j. Got acquitted, and I’m pretty sure he did it. I have black friends, my nephew is half black, I was born in Southern California, I never been to the south, wich I’m sure you guys are well aware slavery, and all that b.s. was pretty exclusive to the south, or I’m sure you ignoramus’ thought it was everywhere. I don’t believe slavery was right, but I fell absolutely zero guilt, over it, black people are not oppressed anymore. So stop acting like it, America has a pretty ugly history, I know, get over it, stop using it as your excuse, for where ur at in your lives.

      • jimeejohnson - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:03 PM

        ” I was born in Southern California”

        That explains your ignorance, as reflected in your horrible writing and lack of higher level thinking skills.

    • 6thsense79 - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:14 AM

      I believe what was proven in court was the cop was convicted of manslaughter. It also is so funny to me thatyou believe the vversion of the convicted felon cop who’s co workers tried to illegally confiscate witnesses cell phones that caught the incide

    • iamhoraceknight - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:24 PM

      It’s Simply a story where an unarmed should not have been shot. The movie(which I did see) humanizes Oscar Grant. It paints him as a human, he wasn’t perfect. He had very good qualities about and made some mistakes in life.

      The facts are: he was laying face down and handcuffed. He was shot in the back by a “Trained” police officer. There is actual video all over the internet. There were two cops on top off/near Oscar Grant, yet the cop still felt the need to pull a gun. His excuse was that he was going fore his taser gun? Did he even need to be tased?

      The cop only served a year for killing an unarmed man. An unarmed that was being detained with help from other officers. There is a problem with that. A football player shot himself and served more time.

    • djveal - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:46 PM

      Whats frightening is that you wear your insensitivy as a badge of honor. Stating “I feel no guilt” as if its something to be proud of to not be able to emapthize for others that dont look like you. You speak out in forums very proudly about how blacks should get over American history. How does this benefit you? Why should a group of people get over something that was never made right. This country has never paid us for the free labor our ancestors put in, that would serve as an official apology. Japenese got reparations for being forced to work on the trans continental railroad and also gold mines. Why do people hate blacks so much? We didnt ask to come here, we were brought by force and then hated and abused raped and murdered ever since. You speak from a position of hate, you are mad that American history makes your ancestors look like thugs theifs and murderers. Its sad that we work side by sid with people like you everyday, closet racists, whose identities remain concealed behind avitars. In the past racists were proud bullies, time has turned you into cold hearted cowards.

  5. fatsack1 - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    thst dude was unarmed armed and got murdered…..those are the facts

  6. 00maltliquor - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    Never even heard of this movie.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      Same here, but I plan to see it, as you probably do as well.

  7. cmehustle - Aug 6, 2013 at 6:25 AM

    Whats crazy, I spent 8 years in the Navy and two years in Iraq and Afghanistan as a DOD contractor after I got out. Never really been that afraid of what might happen to me during that time. But when I come home, not only do I got to watch my back from my own people, but I got to watch out for some random white people or cops shooting me because of what they think what I might do? Because of someones misinterpretation of what I’m doing? And then to top that off, its like a misdemeanor if someone does put two in me. Oh my bad, he looked suspicious lol….

  8. calicokiller49 - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    except the one fact you are leaving out, he wasn’t handcuffed.

    • djveal - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      so basically you’re saying because he wasnt handcuffed its cool to shoot a black man in the back..as long as he isnt handcuffed.

  9. aldavis4president - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    Smh…some of you people are disgusting. He WAS cuffed, he WAS shot in the back while on the ground. Facts. Watch the video or the movie before u open your racist mouths, you sound more idiotic then you already do.

  10. spzzie - Aug 8, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    Why do people who aren’t of color try to tell people of color that racism doesn’t exist anymore. Just don’t talk about things you know nothing about.

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