The basketball documentary The Other Dream Team, directed and produced by Marius Markevicius and Jon Weinbach, is a sports and political documentary about the national Lithuanian basketball team that competed at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games. It screens again tomorrow March 15th in Vilnius at Kino Pavasaris, Lithuania’s largest film festival. It’s out on DVD and is reported to have plans for international TV syndication soon.
It highlights Lithuanians’ experiences behind the Iron Curtain, where elite athletes were subjected to brutalities of Communist rule. As they hid from KGB agents and feared for their lives, Lithuania’s basketball stars always shared a common goal – to utilize their athletic gifts to help free their country. The Other Dream Team full movie cast
Aside from the hardships on the road to the 92′ Olympics, the film celebrates the infamous tie-dyed uniforms worn by the Lithuanian Olympic team that feature NY sports artist Greg Speirs’ trademark design, the Original Lithuanian Slam Dunking Skeleton, now a historic piece of Lithuania’s basketball culture. The Other Dream Team movie bio and Audio Interview VIDEO CLIP
The team stepped on the podium in 1992 to receive their bronze medals wearing the artist’s design.
When the story broke in 1992 his contribution was not noted in lieu of the bigger names involved. However the film touches on setting the facts straight about the source of the image by including a 23 second clip on the artist who created it explaining his inspiration. So look carefully, you may miss it. It was not created by a rock group as the public may have been led to believe by the press. If you thought you knew the complete story behind the source of the iconic slam-dunking skeleton on the tie dye uniforms, it’s not what you’ve heard. Fact: It was not created as the icon of a rock group. It came from a completely different source created independently with a completely different inspiration.
Facts: “The ‘Slam Dunking Skullman’ Skeleton, that became a household icon when it was worn on tie dyed uniforms by the 1992 Lithuanian Olympic Basketball Team in the Barcelona Olympics was created by New York artist Greg Speirs, who describes his inspiration for the infamous skeletal image in Marius Markevicius’ 2012 documentary film. The artist’s Slam-Dunking Skeleton became a legendary icon for the team and for the country of Lithuania.
At the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona the Men’s Lithuanian Olympic Basketball Team stepped up to the podium to receive their bronze medals and wore the uniforms for the world to see. The Slam Dunking Skeleton has come to represent the spirit of the team and used to promote the film’s run in theaters across the U.S.
The documentary reveals a 23 second clip of the artist describing his inspiration behind the shirt as more people begin to learn the real story behind the source of the image. Watch the YouTube Video: VIDEO CLIP The fact is that the image was an independent creation that came from the artist and was not an icon of a musical group.
Go to www.skullman.com for more info.
Even billionaire Richard Branson, wore the Greg Speirs’ Lithuanian basketball Skullman tie-dye t-shirt while inviting everyone to a leadership forum in Kaunas this June where he will be the keynote speaker. The image becomes an unofficial symbol of Lithuania’s success as Sir Branson speaks about Lithuania’s success as he tugs on and notes the Skullman shirt he is wearing to the viewers. See video link: http://verslas.delfi.lt/verslas/rbransonas-teigia-esas-suzavetas-lietuviu-sekmes-istoriju.d?id=60674845
The origin of the Slam Dunking Skeleton – from the artist himself: “The 1992 Lithuanian Basketball Team represents what happens in freedom…people excel. The struggle of the Lithuanian team struck a chord with me so I decided to come up with an image which I believed represented them. I came up with the Slam Dunking Skeleton because it symbolized the team, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes and coming up from nothing, and rising up to overcome the obstacles, which are represented by the hands blocking the shot in the image.
The image is one of breaking out of oppression symbolized by the skeleton finally slam dunking the basketball. This was my interpretation in 1992 and the real meaning of the image. It’s not a dead skeleton at all, but this skeleton represents rebirth and a new life. I know that the Lithuanians really understand what freedom is all about, and anywhere people love freedom I’m there to help. Also, you can’t have freedomwithout free enterprise”-Greg Speirs. Hear the audio interview from the artist himself:Audio Interview at www.gregspeirs.com
The major charitable donation to the team:
The shirts became a sought after collectible and started selling. The artist then acquired the status as the major sponsor of the team by donating 100% of his profits from the sales of the t-shirts to fund the team. Recent news reports state millions were given to Lithuania from sales of the T-Shirts, which featured the artist’s Slam Dunking Skeleton Trademark with his donation also funding the 1996 Team, Lithuanian Children’s Charities and help with the basketball school in Lithuania.
He turned down all money generated from sales of his creation, but instead donated 100% of his profits to the team. The public has now discovered that his donation eclipsed all of the funding by the big names involved. The Other Dream Team movie bio: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3998173 The original shirts have been reissued & are available at: www.skullman.com
The Slam-Dunking Skullman and dedication to the 1992 Lithuanian Olympic Basketball Team was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame on Dec. 07, 1993.