RICHMOND -- Put yourself in the shoes of the Washington Wizards coaching staff. Try to think of a way to teach entirely new offensive and defensive systems, both of which have received notoriety for being notoriously complex, in just a week. Try to think of a way to do it with a team that has spent several years playing for a coach with very different offensive and defensive philosophies.
How are Flip Saunders and company doing it? According to Antawn Jamison, they're having the players learn the plays on iTouches. Yes, iTouches.
"You can listen to your music and look at the plays," Jamison said. "They got video of each play. We all know how technology runs this world, so why not incorporate it with what you do for basketball?"
How does it work? Each player's iTouch is coded for themselves, meaning they are the only ones who can sign in to access the plays. The team will upload diagrams and videos that the players are expected to watch. Some of the files are picture files diagramming the plays, while others are video files that actually show the plays in action. The players will be asked to have their iTouch on them at all times -- Jamison was wearing his around his neck.
It's almost like having a homework assignment if you think about it.
"It's definitely something I was very impressed by," Jamison said. "I was trying to watch the football game, but [instead] I had the iPod on watching the playbook and things of that nature to catch up and make sure I'm ready, so that when certain things are called, I know what's going on."
The iTouches aren't the only thing new at Wizards training camp. Jamison and Caron Butler were two players that were sporting shirts that had "Our Time" on the front. Butler, in fact, had a black "Our Time" hat on his head.
"We've been through so many down times, so many negative things have been done and said, and it's just our time to go out and do what's expected," Jamison said.
"That's what we believe," Butler said. "We believe it's our time to [go out] and win a championship."