Go Little Cows!
The rallying cry wouldn't exactly strike fear into an opponent, would it?
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban agrees.
See, Chinese fans have called the Mavericks "Little Cows" in their native language since the NBA gained a foothold with basketball fans there in the late '90s. There's no direct Chinese translation for the American concept of a "maverick" as one who goes their own way, dances to the beat of their own drum.
The word originally referred to cattle on the open range that did not carry a brand.
So fans settled on "Little Cows." This development displeased Cuban when he learned about the naming convention last year.
"I wasn't happy," Cuban told ESPN at the beginning of the team's campaign in September to change the team's name in Chinese. "Obviously no one wants to be a little cow, so I'm glad we're going to get an opportunity to change it."
Mavs forward Harrison Barnes told the network the move was about "prestige."
True. How prestigious can a little cow be?
So with the help of digital media platform Tencent Sports, the Mavs asked Chinese fans to help them change their Chinese name. They got 50,000 name suggestions, and more than 100,000 votes from fans.
Topping the other two finalists, which translate to English as "Fierce Colts" and "Wild Horses," is the Mavs' new Chinese name. They will now be known in the world's most populous country as the "Dallas Lone Ranger Heroes."
If it doesn't roll right off the tongue in English, just know, it sounds a lot better than "Little Cows" to the team.
"I may not be able to pronounce it [in Chinese]," Cuban said. "But I love it."
The NBA became a hit in China when Yao Ming, a Chinese-born and future Hall-of-Fame center, established himself as a superstar for the Houston Rockets after entering the NBA in 1997.