OK, so apparently, for the last couple of decades, the Dallas Mavericks were known in China as “Little Cows.” I guess there is no perfect translation for the basketball-playing horse version of the word, so, sure, that makes sense. I had no idea this was the case until I was watching the Warriors-Mavs game last night on Chinese media platform Tencent Sports and learned their name had changed. I’m just kidding — I got a press release and am rewriting here, giving it a little fake action. ANYWAY, the Mavs’ new Chinese name, as you can see from the headline I used above for this quick blog post, is Lone Ranger Heroes, which is definitely closer to capturing their brand and also kind of hilarious. It could be dumber. That’s a minor complaint, and more of a personal taste issue.
There was a contest to decide on the final name, and 独行侠 (“Lone Ranger Heroes”) beat out 烈驹 (“Fierce Colts”) and 狂马 (“Wild Horses”). I don’t know. Maybe I prefer Fierce Colts, but Lone Ranger Heroes is pretty good. Actually, wait. The full name, in Chinese-speaking regions, is:
达拉斯独行侠 (“Dallas Lone Ranger Heroes”).
So, alright, yes, I love it.
Here’s the press release:
DALLAS MAVERICKS ANNOUNCE NEW OFFICIAL CHINESE NAME
January 3, 2018 (Dallas, Texas, USA) After nearly two decades of the name “Mavericks” being translated into Chinese as “Little Cows,” the Dallas Mavericks have selected a new Chinese team name with much help from Chinese basketball fans. Announced tonight during Tencent’s live broadcast of the Dallas Mavericks home game against the Golden State Warriors, the official Chinese name of the Mavericks has been changed to 独行侠 (DúXíngXiá), which translates roughly in English to “Lone Ranger Heroes.”
The search for the Mavs’ new Chinese name began on September 10, 2017 with an announcement from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Cuban posted a video on Weibo (the Chinese equivalent of Twitter) asking Chinese-speaking fans to submit their ideas for a better translation for the word “Mavericks.” The Mavericks worked closely with Chinese media platform Tencent Sports to ensure this request reached as many Chinese NBA fans as possible.
Two weeks later, the Mavs had received more than 50,000 comments from fans suggesting new monikers. From those submissions, the Mavericks selected the top three names as finalists — 独行侠 (“Lone Ranger Heroes”), 烈驹 (“Fierce Colts”) and 狂马 (“Wild Horses”) — setting the stage for fans across China to vote for their favorite.
One month and more than 100,000 votes later, the fans have chosen. Announced at halftime during tonight’s live online broadcast in China, the Mavericks will now be known as
达拉斯独行侠 (“Dallas Lone Ranger Heroes”) in all Chinese-speaking regions of the world.
“This is the beginning of a new chapter in the Mavericks’ long legacy in China,” said Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. “With this Chinese name change, we’ve made history by giving our Chinese-speaking fans the opportunity to redefine our identity. I think that fans will be proud of this new name.”
The Mavericks became the first NBA team to sign a Chinese-born player with the drafting of center Wang Zhizhi in 1999, and have continued to maintain strong ties to Chinese basketball. Most recently, CBA star Ding Yanyuhang played for the Mavericks’ 2017 Summer League teams in Orlando and Las Vegas.
The Mavericks are among the most active NBA teams in China, engaging Chinese fans through localized social media, content and events. All official Mavericks Chinese-language social media now bears the new name, and over the coming weeks, the new name will be adopted throughout Greater China’s digital, print and broadcast media. The Mavericks can be found on Sina Weibo at http://www.weibo.com/mavsnba and on WeChat @MavsNBA.
The Mavericks would like to thank all of the fans who participated in selecting the new Chinese name.