Meet the Cousins Who Turned LeBron James Into a Cubanazo (Video)
LeBron as a Santería-practicing pingu.
El Pichy Films via YouTube
The past 24 hours have been a mierda monsoon for Miami Heat fans. Forty-nine states are rooting against our boys. Meanwhile, the national media love to portray us as a bunch of rich pingas in Porsches. Even Chris Bosh (rightly) tore into those weak-ass Lil Wayne-like fans who left Game 6 early.
But what the rest of the country doesn't see on their TV screens are the legions of lower- and middle-class Miamians -- many of them Cuban -- who will celebrate tonight's victory by beating pots and pans until their hands are blue.
These die-hard fans aren't being completely ignored, however. Two young Miamians have taken to making hilarious YouTube videos in which they turn LeBron James and company into the cubanazos. And if the rest of the nation doesn't get it? VPLP!
Like many Miamians, cousins Alejandro Gonzalez, 26, and Maikel Rodriguez, 27, were born in Cuba but moved here as teenagers.
Compared with Fidel's internet-less wasteland, South Florida was a computer geek's paradise. The duo began dabbling in art and video production. Soon enough, they were cranking out videos on their own YouTube channel.
Some of them have gone viral. One in particular made a name for their company, El Pichy Films. It's a music video for the lithe Latino rapper Peter La Anguila (Peter the Eel). The two-minute skit, in which the performer prances onscreen in a rainbow-colored banana hammock, exploded in Latin America. To date, it's been watched more than 38 million times.
But Gonzalez is most proud of El Pichy's Miami Heat doblajes, or dubbings. The process is simple. The results are hilarious. In a 1-minute-19-second video released yesterday, Gonzalez and Rodriguez transform LeBron into a Spanish-speaking, Santería-practicing pingu of epic proportions.
Dressed like a mambo and surrounded by Santería objects, LeBron credits the Heat's epic Game 6 overtime win to animal sacrifice. "We killed I don't know how many chickens in order to become champions," he says shortly after wishing Tony Parker's foot would fall off.
"We just sit down at the computer and watch the clips," Gonzalez says of the process. He and Rodriguez stayed up until 4 a.m. working on the video. LeBron's Cuban outfit was added by graphic artist Renan Jr.
"Since it's lip-syncing, we improvise everything," Gonzalez says. "We don't sit down and write a script. If we do that, it's going to be way too prepared and won't have the same results."
Gonzalez says the cousins began making Heat videos in 2010 because there was a gap between the team and its most loyal, largely Cuban fans.
"We're trying to make [the players] look more like and appeal more to the Spanish and Cuban community," he says. "They are badasses like Tony Montana, practicing Santería to win all the games and stuff. We put them singing to reggaeton and Spanish music. People love it. Sometimes they say, 'LeBron looks like a real cubanazo.'"
"LeBron is our main character," Gonzalez says. "He makes it easy for us. He's always singing and dancing and doing goofy stuff."
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The videos are also a canny source of promotion for the cousins, who produce viral videos for other companies as well. "We knew that when everybody got to the office today, they would be talking about the game," Gonzalez says. "We wanted them to be talking about Pichy Films."
Gonzalez says he doesn't know what they'll do after tonight's Game 7, but he says he hopes to dub over an ecstatic, champagne-drenched LeBron. Whatever the cousins crank out, it'll be for the thousands of true Miami fans celebrating in all types of languages.
"The really, really loyal fans are those Cuban-Americans here in Miami," Gonzalez adds. "They love the Heat to death. They represent the Heat like it's their flag."
See you tonight in Hialeah. Don't forget the pots and pans -- or rainbow banana hammocks.
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