It’s the not so distant future. A young child and his wizened, elderly grandfather sit on a back porch, looking out at the electric cars, known as Obamamobiles, puttering down the far-off highway.

Child: Grandpa, tell me a story about the old days, even before you were born.

Grandfather: Well, child, back in the distant past – in the 1940s – there were no black people in the NBA.

Child: Oh fuck off, you lying old coot.

But it’s true! Nathaniel “Sweetwater” Clifton was the first black man in the NBA, and he signed with the New York Knicks in 1950. Writer/director Martin Guigui is working on a biopic of Sweetwater (called Sweetwater), and he’s finally found his lead actor: Wood Harris, best known to the discerning public as Avon Barksdale in The Wire. He was also just about the only good thing in Southland Tales.

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