Andrew Rafner is a recently liberated fan and writer from Los Angeles. He owns two Sasha Vujacic jerseys and isn’t sorry about it.
You know the girls in those cloyingly sensitive, quirky indie-leaning rom-coms? The ones whose quotes of Belle & Sebastian lyrics (mostly from “Tigermilk”) and floral tattoos and hand-knitted mix CDs and perfectly blunt bangs usually belie some kind of deep-seated childhood trauma that forces them to act like a hyperactive seventh grader-slash-human Care Bear? The ones who have inspired lengthy Onion AV Club articles and parody videos?
The ones that seem to unexpectedly fall from the sky in a poorly executed meet-cute 15 minutes into the movie and swoop the beleaguered and downtrodden cardigan wearing 20-something from his bleak and stark existence and thrust him into a world full of urban scavenger hunts and vintage sundresses and undiagnosed borderline personality disorders? Yeah. Them. They’re called Manic Pixie Dream Girls and while I like to think they are the scourges of the cinematic earth, it is hard to not admit that they have become quite the powerful stock character in Hollywood over the last decade or so.
A similar thing has happened in the NBA, except the rise of the Pixie Point Guard has been met with hordes of fans of the game buckling at the knees and feeling giddy for their devotion to the idea that the only rule for them is that there are no rules. And unlike the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who’s ultimate goal is to possess and consume the soul of the boy they force to fall in love with them via their sticker collection, the Pixie Point Guard represents the best thing in the world being even better than it seems.
You could say we’re in the middle of a positional revolution in the NBA. Many have. The Miami Heat won a championship last year with Chris Bosh as their starting center. Not to mention the team that they beat, the Oklahoma City Thunder, played Kevin Durant at power forward quite a bit during the series. Now, don’t get me wrong, KD is my favorite player in the NBA, but he’s got the muscle tone and definition of a streetlamp. Tough, but fair.
This crazy positional Dadaism is running rampant all over the league. J.J. Hickson is slotted to be the starting center in Portland, Pacers forward/guard/center/human person Paul George grows and shrinks between four and six inches at will, and I have long contended that the center position itself is a dying commodity in the NBA. I mean, how many true top tier fives are there in this league? Three? Maybe four?
But the long, ghastly death rattle of the 21st century center aside, the most lovable and delightful creatures to rise from the seismic ripping apart of the fabric of NBA positional acceptability is the Pixie Point Guard. Even if you don’t know what I am talking about, you know what I’m talking about: sprightly, kind of woodland elfish and dizzyingly quick. The guys who don’t just control the ball and passively run an offense, like your Mario Chalmerses and Raymond Feltons, but dissect defenses with precision passing and often times head-exploding and 30-second-replay-inducing dribble moves. And most importantly — joy. Pixie Point Guards play with pure joy.
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