"The Other Dream Team": A Classic, Feel-Good Sports Doc

Shining a light on one corner of the former Soviet empire is The Other Dream Team, the story of the 1992 Lithuanian Olympic basketball squad. The Lithuanians were inevitably overshadowed by the U.S. team, which for the first time included NBA superstars Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and . . . Christian Laettner (?) and would go on to win easy gold in Barcelona. But the Lithuanians were no slouches, boasting a lineup that included that country's first NBA star (Šarnas Mariulionis) and future pro Arvydas Sabonis, players who'd formed the core of the USSR team that won the gold in 1988. Not coincidentally, their defeat of the amateur American team in Seoul led directly to our subsequent all-pro strategy. USA! Director Marius A. Markevicius examines the struggles Lithuanians faced after becoming the first SSR to declare independence while also providing an unvarnished look at the country's Soviet past. I don't toss around the expression "feel-good story" often, but after learning how the Grateful Dead came to the strapped team's rescue by cutting them a check (and providing tie-dyed gear), and then watching Sabonis and company deliver comeuppance to their former rulers on the hardwood, I fully expect The Other Dream Team to join Do You Believe in Miracles? and Undefeated in your inspirational-sports-doc rotation.

 
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