Feb 08 AT 1:40 PM Taylor Wimberly 26 Comments

Phoenix Suns issue players Android powered playbooks, marks the beginning of a new era in the NBA


Tablet computers have become popular among professional sports athletes, but you have probably never seen one on the sidelines during an actual game. That will change soon because the Phoenix Suns, along with Verizon Wireless and Samsung Mobile, just announced that they integrate the LTE Galaxy Tab 10.1 across all company operations.

The National Football League and Major League Baseball have strict rules that won’t allow tablets on the sidelines, but the National Basketball Association allows coaches to bring them on the court.

It’s sort of a mystery why we haven’t seen tablets during games, but the Suns will be changing that this season as the first NBA team to adopt a tablet on the court. Head coach Alvin Gentry and his staff will implement the Galaxy Tab 10.1 into all aspects of the team’s preparations on and off the court. Every player will receive their own tablet that will include a team playbook, video from practice sessions, scouting reports for upcoming opponents, and travel itineraries for road trips.

Think of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 as a one-stop shop for all the basketball information that a player would need.

Gentry said that tablets are the best way to display diagrams of plays that he wants to run during a game. “If I say, ‘I’m going to run a play called four-pop, [assistant coach] Noel Gillispie can cue that right up for me,” Gentry told the Wall St. Journal.

The Phoenix Suns organization will use the Tab 10.1 for business development opportunities. This includes such actions as season ticketholder presentations and in-game promotional programs. The Suns will also integrate the Tab 10.1 into their TV and radio broadcast to interact with their digital fans through social media platforms.

Ryan Bidan, Samsung Mobile Vice President of Product Marketing, said, “The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 hosts an impressive array of technology that will allow the Phoenix Suns to collaborate, share, interact and prepare for games in ways that were impossible before. Not only will the Phoenix Suns be untethered from the traditional hard copies of their playbook but the Tab 10.1 will also provide the Suns with a premium and truly mobile, multi-media experience over Verizon’s 4G LTE network.”

The question I’m wondering is, will this tablet have any affect on the team’s performance on the court? This season the NFL allowed two teams, the Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, to use iPads as their official playbooks. We saw the Ravens come up just one game short of the Super Bowl, but they have been a strong team in the past.

Phoenix currently sits three games out of playoff contention in the NBA’s Western Conference, but they have the 5th oldest team in the league and they are still struggling to find their rhythm.

Gentry says today’s announcement “marks the beginning of a new era in the NBA.” Hopefully it also marks the start of a new era for the struggling Suns.

Show Press Release

Suns become the first professional sports franchise to “Tab” across all company operations

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns, Verizon Wireless and Samsung Mobile announced today that the Suns have become the first NBA franchise to fully integrate wireless tablet technology into both their business and basketball operations.

Suns President, Brad Casper, Suns Head Coach, Alvin Gentry, Verizon Wireless President of the Southwest Region, Brian Danfield, and Samsung Mobile Vice President of Product Marketing, Ryan Bidan, made the announcement unveiling the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, powered by the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network, as the tablet of choice for the Phoenix Suns.

The Suns are incorporating the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 into business development opportunities, client and season ticketholder presentations, and in-game promotional programs. The team will utilize the tablet throughout US Airways Center on game-nights for more effective activation related to Suns partner initiatives, as well as showing prospective Suns ticket holders an interactive view of seats from anywhere in the arena.

In addition, the Suns are integrating the Tab into various elements of their TV and radio broadcasts as a way to interact with the club’s digital fans through social media and other in-game promotions.

“Our organization has always placed a priority on remaining at the forefront of digital innovation within the sports industry,” said Casper. “Utilizing the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network to integrate the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 into our daily operations is yet another great digital milestone for the Suns.”

Suns head coach Alvin Gentry and his staff will implement the tablet into all aspects of the team’s preparations, both on and off the basketball court. Each player will receive a tablet which includes a custom Suns playbook, video from team practices and games, team and individual scouting reports for upcoming opponents, and travel itineraries for all road trips. The Tab provides the team an environmentally friendly way of communicating with players and team personnel by eliminating volumes of paper communications.

“Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a new era in the NBA, where I think teams throughout the league will want to integrate a tablet into their operations,” said Gentry.

As the exclusive mobile provider of the Suns, Verizon Wireless is pleased to help bring forward, innovative, game-changing technology solutions, all backed by the largest and fastest 4G network in America.

“The Suns’ creativity and leadership, together with the strength of the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network and the extensive capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will no doubt be a winning combination,” said Verizon Wireless’ Danfield.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 with 4G LTE is an ultra-slim 8.6 millimeters and boasts an incredibly light weight of just 1.25 pounds (568 grams) for outstanding mobility. Designed with a brilliant 10.1-inch HD touchscreen display with WXGA 1280 x 800 resolution, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 delivers vibrant colors and crisp clarity. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 with 4G LTE supports Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n connectivity to deliver rapid mobile download speeds and reduce data transfer times. Additionally, the Tab 10.1 also includes a 1GHz dual core processor and features a 3 megapixel rear camera and a 2 megapixel front camera providing smooth video chat capabilities and seamless video playback.

“The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 hosts an impressive array of technology that will allow the Phoenix Suns to collaborate, share, interact and prepare for games in ways that were impossible before,” said Bidan. “Not only will the Phoenix Suns be untethered from the traditional hard copies of their playbook but the Tab 10.1 will also provide the Suns with a premium and truly mobile, multi-media experience over Verizon’s 4G LTE network.”

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • AsakuraZero

    at first because of the title i undesrtood that the NBA would be giving out blackberry playbooks with android, then i read and i see that they meant the game playbook~ and other info in a samsung tab

    • Azaurath

      Yea, Me too. I was like, WTF!?

    • LukeT32

      I saw in the market the other day that GM has approx 5 apps on the market for dealership employees only. Thought that was kinda cool.

    • Jeff Pan

      Me too!

    • alexanderharri3

      You are most definitely not alone, one capital letter short of being true. Playbooks vs playbooks.

  • spazby

    very cool

    • professandobey

      Yeah, although it’d be even cooler if they used a tablet compatible with the S pen. I’m sure the ability to draw and annotate would be very helpful in this situation.

  • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

    This is pretty awesome. Anyone know why the NFL and MLB don’t allow tablets? I would hope there is an actual good reason for this, and not some silly reasoning.

    • fletchtb

      I wonder if they are not allowed in the NFL and MLB because of the chance for cheating. Players and Coaches could be watching live broadcasts and be stealing signs or dealing with outher outside influences.

  • Max.Steel

    Steve Nash has to be one of the most overrated players in the game. I’ve never seen such poor defensive effort from any player in the NBA. Steve Nash is great offensively but defensively it’s like the opposing team is playing 5-4 and Steve Nash gets abused by Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, John Wall, Tony Parker, and the rest of these score-first Point Guards with their quickness and athleticism. He is a great player but I don’t think he deserved his MVP award (Kobe & LeBron were more deserving) when Jason Kidd who carried his team to the NBA finals twice didn’t win one in his entire career, yet was coined Mr. Triple Double and the most overall best player in the NBA after Magic Johnson retired.

    • mikego

      As a Suns fan, I have to disagree with your overrated sentiment. While I wouldn’t consider Nash a great defender, he is one of the most intelligent players in the league. He knows his limitations on defense, and is able to mitigate his physical weaknesses by playing smart on D and intangibles that don’t go on the stat sheet, e.g. taking charges, positioning himself, deferring to his teammates.

      Offensively, he is one of the greatest players of this generation. Aside from his amazing passing abilities and court vision, he is one of the top shooters ever. Aside from being #1 all time in FT percentage, and tied for 6th all-time in 3 point percentage, he as a remarkable FG percentage. In fact, this season he is in the top 5 at 55%, which is amazing for a guard. But even that doesn’t tell the entire story, as Nash has the notoriety of being a great clutch player. He has had many game winning shots and assists in his most recent tenure as a Sun. In fact, he shot the game winner in last night’s game, on his bday no less. Moreover, he is the undeniable leader of a team that has won many games over the years since his signing.

      But in spite of all this, you don’t need to take my word for it. A majority of sports writers, journalists, announcers, and players have the same opinion as I do on Nash’s value. Feel free to think they are all wrong in their appraisal of the 2 time MVP.

      PS. Congrats to the Suns on being one of the vanguards of sports organizations embracing new technologies.

      • Max.Steel

        Yes, he’s a very intelligent player, yes, he can put up those numbers and yes, he can make those assists but looking at him as a whole, you have to put in every factor and until he can get his D up, he cannot be compared to other NBA greats. Another thing I notice is that people tend to believe that he’s a great ball handler, but he’s not. Most of these assists that you see on highlight reels are from either set plays on an alley oop or in the open court when a team’s defense is not set up. This is when Nash can hit that homerun pass with ease.

        However, once you put pressure on him he struggles. Seeing how Nash averaged 3.6 turnovers a game a few years ago compared to Deron Williams’ 3.3 turnovers per game, Baron Davis’ 2.8 turnovers per game, and Chris Paul’s 2.5 turnovers per game.

        I do agree he plays very smart but he needs to be able to put up those defensive stats because if you have an opponent with a great scorer as well as great D, it’s going to be a 5-4 game.

    • honourbound68

      If you really think Nash is that bad defensively, then you need to watch more games (because he’s not). I don’t think SN is as bad defensively as Carmelo Anthony. At least Steve puts out the effort night in and night out. Yes, he may get abused by younger, quicker point guards but it’s not for lack of trying. And I can’t really figure out why you think he’s over-rated. He makes everyone around him better (offensively). He plays team defense and is a heck of a leader. I’ll take Steve Nash on any of my team any day of the week.

  • http://clarklab.net Clark Wimberly

    I’m curious if they players were like Score! A free tablet! or if they were all I’ve gotta carry this thing and my iPad?

    • BiGMERF

      lol.. excellent point.. cause you all know 80 percent of the team has one

  • Mike D


    Cool story bro.


    im just so exited to see sports here !!!

  • Hall Lo

    LOL i thought you mean there was an android version of the blackberry playbook when i saw the title…. anyways its nice to see there are more use for android tablets :)

    • honourbound68

      me 2. Glad to see android getting some corporate love instead of apple all the time.

  • virexed

    Flip Saunders did this with iPads when he got hired by the Wizards. Guess it didn’t pan out because he got fired not too long ago.

  • greeny42

    Steve Nash is doing his best Jordan impersonation.

    • Fulaman

      Steve Nash is a great player don’t get me wrong, but he’s no Michael Jordan. Him and Kobe Bryant can try to be Michael Jordan, but there MAY never be another M.J.

  • Fulaman

    This is just the beginning, Tablets (Android) are going to continue to reign even more.

  • dacatalyst41

    Beautiful Day!

  • Thomas MacDougall

    The fastest way to a high tech future is to use tablets everywhere, to replace books and clipboards and notepads and (small) whiteboards