(Please see crowdsourcing UPDATE below.) Following an item on Game Three of the Lake People - Calves showdown in the NBA West:

1) 湖人队非常不好! The Lake People really stunk up the joint in Game Four yesterday. In every possible way. I am chagrined to have had them as my childhood team.

2) A reader with a Chinese name writes in defense of 小牛, "calves" or "little cows," as the Chinese rendering of the Dallas Mavericks.

>>I checked Oxford English Dictionary which says the word Maverick comes from the name of mid-ninteen century Texan rancher Samuel Maverick who did not brand his cattle. Also there is a Chinese saying "初生牛犊不畏虎" meaning that a new born calf does not fear tigers. So I don't think the translation of Maverick as 小牛 is that far off.<<

On the etymology point: yes, indeed. The Maverick family of Texas, known through much of the 20th century for producing strong progressive/civil-libertarian politicians and writers, was of course in the 19th century the historical source of the term. But the "calves don't fear tigers" slogan is new to me, so with that I'll happily say: 小牛 加油 ("little cows, add oil!" "Go, Mavs") for this next round.

And, I have just heard a sad story from another expatriated hoops fan.

 >>This also reminds me of often trying to explain to Chinese friends why my hometown team is named the Pacers, after the Indy 500 pace car. In Chinese it's rendered "步行者," literally "The Walkers". Doesn't inspire a whole lot of confidence.<<

People of America, your countrymen are stoicly absorbing, in distant corners of the world, hardships that may not be obvious, as they keep on rooting for their little cows, their walkers.

UPDATE: I don't feel like rounding them all up at the moments, but a number of people have written to ask for a complete list of the Chinese name of NBA teams. From watching TV in China I know of some that are straightforward and literal, like 国王, "king," for the Kings, and 雷霆, "thunder," for the Thunder. If someone has a master list including drolleries, please send it in and I will post.  UPDATE-UPDATE: I've got 'em now, and will post in a day or two.