Thunder Chat: Pavel & Yuri Kopeche


Yesterday, Thunder Treats broke the news of two young men that basically punked the Miami Herald and its writer, Linda Robertson.  These two guys got geared up for a Miami Heat game but weren’t cheering for the home team.  Instead, they were dressed head to toe in support of the Russian team CSKA Moscow.  They entered the American Airlines Arena under the names Pavel and Yuri Kopeche and maintained that identity for the duration of the game.  For them, it was just something fun to do to see the reaction of the Heat fans.  What they got however, was more than they, or us, could have dreamed of.  Here is a Q & A  that “Pavel and Yuri” agreed to do with Thunder Treats.  Enjoy…

– First off, we need to know where your loyalty lies…Is it the Heat, Knicks or CSKA Moscow?
Our loyalty falls with the motherland (CSKA Moscow).  This may sound strange but with all that we have done, its obvious that strange works and we have grown to Love CSKA and the players names.  Sokolov, Schved and Nikitia Kurbanov. Those are some sick names.

– How did you guys come up with the idea to dress as Moscow fans and who came up with the slogan on the sign “If Napoleon could not penetrate our defense, neither can LeeBron”?
Last march when we went to Italy for Spring Break, we decided to a make a youtube video about a russian visiting florence as a joke between friends.  This is were the whole idea came from and when we saw the heats schedule and saw that they were playing CSKA we figured we had to go.  Our friend Brian who filmed our video is the one who came up with the brilliant slogan for the sign.  Believe it or not but the Arena made us throw away the sign before entering the stadium and deemed it offensive. 

– Did you two plan on trying to get media coverage by dressing like this?  Did you have a script (such as names) thought up before hand?  Did you practice your accents?

We had no plan on getting media attention. We went to the game wanting to have fun and thought we would be the only russian fans in attendance. The names Pavel And Yuri came from our previous scenes and  we also wanted to make sequel to what was made in italy.  The last name Kopeche was made on the spot and was influenced by one of our grandparents last names. There was no script and it was all improv like our previous skits. 


– How did Miami Herald writer Linda Robertson approach you for the interview?  Was it true that a Moscow television network interviewed you as well?
Yes it is true, a Moscow TV network did interview us in english russian accents, and after this interview from our seats Linda Robertson approached us and we continued the fun. 

– At what point during the interview(s) did you realize that she was not only believing you but actually eating it up completely?
We could tell she loved it by the amount of notes she was taking and the constant need for more information. She had a smile on her face and this smile just made our act even better. 

– What was the first reaction you guys had when you saw the article on the Miami Herald website and that she not only mentioned you, but based her entire article around your prank?
We saw the article on the way home from the game on the Heralds website from our phone. We called everyone we knew and are still to this moment shocked.  I think we laughed for a good 30 minutes straight and it was almost impossible for us to talk because we were laughing so hard. 


– Your fictional rapper, Don Zagru, now has his own Twitter account (@DonZagru) that everyone should follow.  How did you come up with this personality?
Well we went on the rant about the influence of the NBA in russian society and how rappers help.  Robertson asked us a name of a rapper and we made him up.  There is a current spanish song called Danza Kuduro by Don Omar that we heard on the ride down, so since it sounded a little Russian we remembered the name and gave it a nice Russian Twist.

– We have thoroughly enjoyed this prank.  Since this prank went so well, can we expect more in the future (please!)?
Yes Pavel and Yuri will make more appearances shortly.  We love to have fun and see peoples reactions to the way we dress.  Its priceless.  So if you want more we will give it you. 

– Is there anything message you wish to tell your haters/fans?

To the Haters which there really are none,  in the words of an Ochocinco tweet, hate is just confused admiration.  And lets try to work on our sense of humor if you dont like us.  To our fans we love you and we will posting video of the interview on our official facebook page Pavel and Yuri Kopeche so make sure to like. Once again thanks for the support and you will hear more from us soon. 🙂 


To quote Linda Robertson, “Somewhere basketball salesman David Stern is smiling”.  To read the full article that has since been pulled down, check out this screen grab.  Thanks to “Pavel and Yuri” for the pictures and the interview.  Keep up the good work guys!

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