PHOENIX -- Forget using pens and paper to call and analyze plays and looking at video on tape. The Phoenix Suns are making some changes that will put then on the cutting edge of high-tech basketball.
Our hometown team announced Wednesday that is the first NBA organization to go digital, using Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet computers to call plays, organize scouting reports and even look at game film, which until now has been a low-tech tape-based endeavor.
The wireless technology is being integrated into both the business side and the basketball side of the Suns organization. But it's not just the front office and the coaching staff that are going eco-friendly paperless; each player will have a tablet, as well.
"Each player is now equipped with a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, providing real-time access to information that used to be given to them on paper or on disks," wrote Stefan Swiat of Suns.com. "As opposed to scouting reports, the team’s playbook, the opposing team’s playbook and the players’ itineraries all being handed out on hard copies, all of that information is now loaded daily onto the players’ tablets. The training staff is also implementing the technology into its regimen, dispensing vital fitness information to the players using the tablets."
Coach Alvin Gentry said he's excited for move into digital and is sure it will catch on quickly. “I think it’s something that will be pretty prevalent around the NBA in the next year or so, but we’ve taken that step already.”
"You know, I'm kind of an old-school guy," he said. "Most of the things that we've done in the past have been involved with v-h-s tapes and things like that. … So, we've really moved tremendously forward as far as that's concerned."
The Suns tablets are powered by the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Phoenix Suns to bring together innovative technology solutions to help give the team a competitive edge,” said Brian Danfield, president, Verizon Wireless Southwest Region, in a news release.
While the Suns are the first NBA team to go digital, they're not the first sports franchise to do it.
In the NFL, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Baltimore Ravens use tablets for their playbooks.