A movie documenting NBA Houston Rockets player JEREMY LIN's rise from an "obscure Ivy League basketball player to an NBA star with a global following was enthusiastically received" at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, according to the CNA. An L.A. Times report called "Linsanity: the Movie" easily "one of the most crowd-pleasing documentaries to play" in the festival this year. The movie is directed by EVAN JACKSON LEONG. In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Leong said that the movie ends with the Linsanity phenomenon, but Lin's journey to that stage "is what the movie is all about." Leong said, "I actually heard about him in Harvard, and at that point, to me, he was already a fascinating story because he already got farther than most any Asian American player I've ever seen" (CNA, 1/23).
GOOD REVIEWS: In a review in the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, Justin Lowe wrote the documentary has a "mix of personal interviews -- including extensive on-camera discussions with Lin, combined with more informal scenes -- home-video footage from Lin's childhood and clips from his high school and college careers, as well as game-play commentary from ESPN and other broadcasters." Leong has "assembled a film that's not just a stirring sports drama but also a classic immigrant-family success story, presented in an entirely new context." With Leong "skillfully orchestrating the interview segments" and actor DANIEL DAE KIM "narrating a voice-over that occasionally tends toward an overly dramatic tone, the film is attractively packaged and superlatively edited by GREG LOUIE." However, since the film's title "emphasizes public reaction to Lin's rise to stardom, some additional footage featuring fan reactions and social media trends would have been welcome" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 1/21).
U.K. Coach of the Year TONI MINICHIELLO, who guided JESSICA ENNIS to heptathlon Gold at the London Olympics, said that he will have "no choice but to look for alternative ways of supplementing his income away from the track after losing his full-time job with UK Athletics," according to Simon Hart of the London TELEGRAPH. The governing body wants the "majority of its employed coaches" to be based at its new centralized institute in Loughborough and only coaches who have more than one medalist at world or Olympic level in their training groups, such as MALCOLM ARNOLD and LLOYD COWAN, are being offered the "chance to work away from Loughborough on full-time salaries." UK Athletics has offered Minichiello a consultancy role to continue coaching Ennis until the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, though he has "yet to accept any deal." UK Athletics refused to comment on the offer but said that it was "hopeful an agreement could be reached." Minichiello said, "I’m disappointed at being made redundant, but I’m not surprised because that’s the nature of sport." The coach believes his situation is "symptomatic of a wider attitude in British sport that undervalues the importance of coaches" and has called for the formation of a coaches association to safeguard the interests of the profession (TELEGRAPH, 1/22).
German Hockey League (DEL) club Cologne Sharks has appointed Dusseldorf GM LANCE NETHERY as managing director. The 55-year-old Canadian "will replace THOMAS EICHIN, who will leave the team and move to Bundesliga club Werder Bremen, on Feb. 1" (SID, 1/23). ... League Championship side Burnley revealed that board of directors member BRANDAN FLOOD has stepped down from his position with immediate effect. Flood, who joined the board in '06, has left his position for personal reasons (Burnley FC).
Int'l Cycling Union President (UCI) President PAT MCQUAID has been replaced on a key IOC panel as he "deals with the fallout" from the LANCE ARMSTRONG doping scandal. McQuaid said, "It's quite simple. I have too much going on, and I can't afford to be spending two weeks away from the office in March" (AP, 1/23). ... F1 team Red Bull Racing "has extended its contract with test driver SÉBASTIEN BUEMI for the '13 season." The 24-year-old Swiss native has been the team's test driver since '12 (SID, 1/22). ... FC Barcelona has agreed to a contract extension with CARLES PUYOL through June 30, 2016 (INTERECONOMIA, 1/22). ... FC Barcelona defender GERARD PIQUÉ and his wife SHAKIRA had their first child Tuesday night. MILAN was born at 10:30pm local time at the Clinica Teknon in Barcelona (INTERECONOMIA, 1/22).