The NBA is a travel-filled, grueling nine-month season. 82-games. Tens of thousands of miles. And typically, little time to do anything outside of eating. However, even eating is a hassle because you’re in a new city, and often you end up at chains or places you don’t know.
Rich Cho, known foodie and General Manager of the Charlotte Hornets, is doing his part in assisting the NBA community and beyond by creating a new site called Bigtime Bites. The site, founded by Cho, is built for people who want a specific dish or craving. Unlike Yelp and other competitors reviews, his site is built on the idea that you’re in a city and you want a specific entree or dish.
“I’ve always had a great affinity for food,” Cho told DIME. “As I started traveling as much as I did, my affinity for food grew even more. So when I would travel to an upcoming city I would try to do a little research and ask around with staff, friends, family, and people around the league to find where I wanted to eat. I would travel to big cities with the team like New York, Chicago, LA and then also smaller cities like Lexington and Lawrence. Once I had traveled so much and got tips from a number of people, I really started expanding the notebook of places to eat and wrote them down to where it then became a wide variety of go-to places that I tried to visit when I was on the road. Pretty soon, people around the league started asking me where they should eat and I’d open up my notebook and tell them.”
The notebook became something friends, family, and people around the league knew about, and that’s when Cho decided to turn it into something bigger. Cho wanted a database where everyone could see it, go to these great restaurants, and share their own great dishes. The model is much different than any food review site we’ve seen.
All these reviews of dishes are called “scouting reports” and the interface is easy to read for anyone – especially a sports enthusiast and basketball fan.
“I think it makes sense because you go to a restaurant for a dish typically,” Cho told us. “You typically go to a restaurant and say ‘I want a good burger’, not ‘I want a good expansive food menu’.”
Along with the scouting report (that even users can submit), the site is easy to understand. It rates the dish’s price with basketball symbols and identifies quality with labels like starter, rotation, all-star, franchise, and HOF (Hall of Fame).
The site has a ton of contributors and anyone can set their own account up to submit your own scouting reports. From Seattle to Boston to Davidson (N.C.), you can find almost any type of food dish and a review paired with it. Cho said he had coaches, players, general managers, agents and beyond ask him for recommendations, so the site makes it more accessible for not only them, but the public and beyond.
As far as the Charlotte Hornets are concerned, Cho mentioned that the team had some needs to address this offseason and they did that. Adding rim protection and another point guard were at the top of the priority list. They added Dwight Howard, acquired Malik Monk and Dwyane Bacon (not Dwyane Wade) in the draft, and signed Michael Carter-Williams which checked the boxes for those needs.