Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Other Dream Team



The other dream team / Directed by Marius Markevicius / September 21, 2012 / 89 min

About: 
Lithuanian basketball players, notably Arvydas Sabonis and Šarūnas Marčiulionis, were forced to play for Russia in the1988 Olympics in Seoul. There were four starters from Lithuania who were on the Russian team. The players were promised that they could play in western teams if they won the Olympics. The Russian team did win the gold. Marčiulionis became the first Soviet player to join the NBA. Sabonis was actually the first Lithuanian to be drafted onto an American team but because of the Iron Curtain he was not allowed to 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. 
The Lithuanian team had a small budget allocated to them for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Because of an article written in a local newspaper, the Grateful Deadwas 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 according to the artist who created it. 
The Lithuanian team had no illusions of beating the American Dream Team in the semifinals. In the bronze medal game, they were pitted against the Russians. The game became a larger symbol of reborn Lithuania fighting for its freedom and recognition. It was a close, nerve-wracking game that the Lithuanians could not lose. In the end, the Lithuanians beat Russians by four points. The team wore their slam dunking skeleton tie-dye uniforms to accept their bronze medals
via: wikipedia 

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