Fans pick "Lone Ranger Heroes" as new Chinese name for the Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks announces the franchise's new official Chinese name on its verified Weibo account on January 4, 2018. [Photo: Weibo/Dallas Mavericks]
Chinese basketball fans have voted online to choose a new official Chinese name for the NBA franchise Dallas Mavericks.
Dallas legend Dirk Nowitzki announced the new name "Du Xing Xia", or "Lone Ranger Heroes", via a video during halftime of the Mavericks' recent home game against the Golden State Warriors.
For nearly two decades, the Mavericks have been known as "Xiao Niu" in China, which translates as "Little Cows". This was much to the dismay of owner Mark Cuban, because the Chinese name "has nothing to do with the Mavericks. "
Cuban vowed to find a new Chinese name that lives up to the franchise's spirit of being "strong, innovative, forceful, and being a winner."
Cuban initiated the search last September when he posted a video on Weibo asking Chinese-speaking fans to submit their ideas for a better translation for the name "Mavericks."
The "Lone Ranger Heroes" emerged from three finalists, having received 36% of the more than 100,000 online votes.
The franchise is now known as "the Dallas Du Xing Xia" across its official Chinese social media channels.
Zhang Weiping, a former coach for China's national basketball team, describes the renaming process as "a historical breakthrough", because it gave Chinese fans a chance to become part of NBA history.
Zhang says there are several other NBA teams with unusual Chinese names. He is suggesting the likes of the Philadelphia 76ers and the Indiana Pacers follow the Mavericks' example and come up with new official Chinese names.
The Dallas Mavericks drafted Chinese center Wang Zhizhi in 1999 and have maintained close ties with Chinese basketball ever since.
The franchise secured the service of Yi Jianlian during the 2011/12 season.
Most recently, the CBA's Ding Yan Yuhang played for the Mavericks' 2017 Summer League teams in Orlando and Las Vegas.