The Other Dream Team
|The Other Dream Team|
|Directed by||Marius A. Markevičius|
|Produced by||Marius A. Markevičius
|Written by||Jon Weinbach
Marius A. Markevicius
|Editing by||Dan Marks|
|Studio||The Basketball Future Foundation, Sorrento Productions, Berliner 76 Entertainment|
The Other Dream Team is a documentary film directed by Marius A. Markevičius. It covers the inspirational story of the 1992 Lithuania national basketball team and their journey from communism to the Summer Olympics in Barcelona. It stars many famous basketball players like Arvydas Sabonis, David Stern, Jim Lampley, Bill Walton, Šarūnas Marčiulionis and others. The film not only looks at the journey the team takes to get to the Olympics but also the historical events that opened up some of the opportunities. The fall of the USSR allowed Lithuania to declare its independence and enter the Olympics as a free country. Winning the bronze medal gave more satisfaction to them than winning gold for Russia because they were finally winning a medal for their country and they beat their oppressors. They were able to give their country an identity when no one knew who they were.
Marius A. Markevičius is a Lithuanian- American director. His parents moved to the States during World War II He was motivated to direct this documentary because of his Lithuanian heritage. The fact that Markevičius did not live in Lithuania was actually beneficial to him when he approached Marciulionis with his idea for the documentary. He helped to bring a fresh perspective.  It took him over three years to make this film. During filming, he initially had the players speak in English for the interviews. But because of the emotional nature of the topic, speaking in their native tongue was easier.
These basketball players, notably Arvydas Sabonis and Šarūnas Marčiulionis, were forced to play for Russia in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. There were four starters from Lithuania who were on the Russian team. Arvydas Sabonis was actually the first Lithuanian to be drafted onto an American team but because of the strict rules of the Iron Curtain, he could not leave. Not only that but Americans did not like that he was a "Russian" player. They didn't understand the distinction in nationality nor really understand the composition of the Soviet Union.  After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, these players became a symbol of hope and of the Lithuanian spirit. They were the symbol for a nation that couldn't be squashed under Soviet rule and domination. When the Soviet Union dissolved, Lithuania had an opportunity to go to the Olympics on their own merit for the 1992 games.
Journey to the Olympics
Low on funds, the Lithuanian team did not know how they were going to make it to the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Because of an article written in a local newspaper, the Grateful Dead was moved by the team's plight and funded their trip to the Olympics.  Artist Greg Speirs  from New York was also moved by the team's plight and created the iconic Slam-Dunking Skeleton on the tie-dye shirts which were made in the colors of the Lithuanian flag. The skeleton pictured on the shirt was slam-dunking a basketball symbolizing a phoenix rising from the ashes. These shirts became a symbol of Lithuania's new history. The team wore their slam dunking skeleton tie dye uniforms to accept their bronze medals.
Lithuania is a country of three million people located next to the Baltic Sea sharing a border with Poland. The Lithuanian language is very important culturally. During Soviet Occupation before WWII, the language was forbidden. No books, no papers, etc were allowed to be written in Lithuanian and all the citizens had to learn to speak Russian. During and after WWII, however, these rules were lightened a little bit but all official documents had to still be in Russian. Those four starters for the Russian Olympic team did not feel pride. Many people could not tell that they were not actually Russian. After 50 years of Soviet oppression, the Lithuanian basketball team was a symbol of hope. Lithuanians had been playing basketball since the early 1900s but until their shot at the Olympics, they couldn't show the world what they were made of.
Not only does the documentary look at the events leading up to the 1992 Olympics, it also shows an up & coming Lithuanian player, Jonas Valanciunas, before the NBA draft in 2011. This shows the result of what his parents fought for. The documentary also shows Arvydas Sabonis being inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. Sales of the tie dyed t-shirts continued from which the skeleton art's creator, Greg Speirs donated all (100%) of his profits realized amounting to $450,000. to continue to fund the team as well as Lithuanian children's charities and acquired 'major sponsor' status.  
It was an official selection for the Sundance Film Festival and entered in the U.S. Documentary Competition in 2012. It received 88% for both Critic and Audience Rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It had a limited theatrical release starting September 28, 2012.
It did not win any awards at the Sundance Film Festival however it had high audience approval.It was also nominated for a PGA award for Best Documentary in 2013.
- Jim Lampley as himself
- Bill Walton as himself
- Mickey Hart as himself
- Dan Majerle as himself
- Greg Speirs as himself 
- Arvydas Sabonis as himself
- David Stern as himself
- Linas Kleiza as himself
- Mitch Richmond as himself
- David Remnick as himself
- Žydrūnas Ilgauskas as himself
- Chris Mullin as himself
- Alexander Wolff as himself
- Donnie Nelson as himself
- P.J. Carlesimo as himself
- Šarūnas Marčiulionis as himself
- Rimas Kurtinaitis as himself
- Robertas Javtokas as himself
- Vytautas Landsbergis as himself
- Vladas Garastas as himself
- Dennis McNally as himself
- Jonas Valančiūnas as himself
- Donatas Motiejūnas as himself
- Artūras Karnišovas as himself
- Linas Kunigėlis as himself
- Charles Smith as himself
- Kim Bohuny as himself
- The Other Dream Team at the Internet Movie Database
- The Other Dream Team at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Other Dream Team at Metacritic
- Cousineau, Phil. The Olympic Odyssey: Rekindling the True Spirit of the Great Games. Quest Books, 2003.
- Kern, Roy M. “Psychological Impact of the Soviet Occupation and Spread of Individual Psychology in Lithuania.” Journal of Individual Psychology 68, no. 3 (Fall 2012): 260–271.
- “The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame - Hall of Famers.” Accessed January 24, 2014. http://www.hoophall.com/hall-of-famers/tag/arvydas-sabonis.