CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte Bobcats made a lot of changes in the off-season.
They have new uniforms and a new slogan: Tougher-Faster-Stronger.
In 2011 the Bobcats drafted Kemba Walker in the first round. Coming off a national championship for UConn, he was also player of the year.
Those were the same credentials that Carolina Panthers Cam Newton had in the same year.
So it's no coincidence that the two are close friends.
“[Cam] is not my BFF,” Walker said. “But that's my guy. Yeah, Cam is my guy.”
In the off-season, the Bobcats acquired three veterans, including guard Ben Gordon.
“I'm adjusting (to Charlotte) really well,” Gordon said. “I moved in, settled in and ready to go.”
This year you'll not only see his style on the court, but if you catch him off the court you might notice his style in fashion.
“I definitely get inspiration from looking at what's new. I'm not really a trendy kind of guy,” Gordon said. “I look at the new fashion and different things that are out. But most of the time it's just what I feel at the moment.”
There is a group of Bobcats who are in the United States on work visas. This is Desagana Diop's fourth season with the Bobcats. He's originally from Senegal.
“My mom and dad stay back home. My wife is here with me,” Diop said.
He comes from a very distinguished family in his native land. He’s like royalty. When asked if fans should call him prince, Diop laughed.
Rookie Jeff Taylor is from Sweden and went to school at Vanderbilt in Nashville.
“Charlotte and Nashville are similar cities just in size and the way things are,” Taylor said. “It's kind of calm and not stressful at all. It was a really easy adjustment for me.”
Bismack Biyombo is from the Congo. He's one of the centers and they call him ‘The Bis’. He speaks five languages: French, English, Spanish, Swahili and Lingala.
The players have lived all over the world. Where do they like to eat in Charlotte?
“My favorite place to eat is Chima,” Biyombo said.
Taylor said he sticks to what he knows. “Cheesecake Factory. Maggiano’s. And I actually like Cowfish.”
Gordon also likes Cowfish.
“Yeah, that's like the best,” he said. “Because you get the best of sushi and burgers and things like that.”
There was also a rumor that forward Tyrus Thomas was going around bragging that he was some sort of chef. Charlotte Today asked him if he really can cook.
“It just depends on the day,” he responded.
What's his fanciest dish?
“Fancy? I don't know,” Thomas laughed.
We invited him to the Charlotte Today set where there is a full kitchen.
“I don't need that,” Thomas said. “I just need three burners and a Magnalight.”