Since we’re still a couple weeks away from the once-upon-a-time start of the NBA season, things aren’t so bad. Even if there were a season happening, we’d still have time to get Doug Collins fired and be asked a question about players crying in the locker room in NBA 2K12 — or something else less specific and less embarrassing — during our last few weeks of free time. Right now, we can still live in denial, which isn’t the best way to handle things but is OK in my book.

But come November 1, when we’re missing out on Derrick Rose and Dirk Nowitzki, that’s when things are going to suck. That’s when we’ll all realize that this season really is delayed and that we’re missing out on some really great basketball. That’s when we’ll have the sadness for realsies.

Unless the NBA’s players have anything to say about it. They might just want to have a season anyways. From Sports Illustrated:

While the actual formation of another league would be, um, challenging, a source says there is a more manageable idea being tossed around. In a strong statement to the league’s fans who are paying such a steep price for all this, players would organize unofficial versions of the games that are being lost in early November.

Players would join their respective NBA teams in full and play in non-NBA venues in the city in which they were originally scheduled. So maybe there’s hope for an opening night of Bulls at Mavericks, Rockets at Jazz and Thunder at the Lakers on Nov. 1 after all.

This is just an excellent plan. The NBA won’t let its players play basketball games. Fine — they’ll just organize their own games in the same cities with the same players playing the same teams, only in significantly more empty and less technologically advanced gyms. It’s like a bootleg NBA and it’s hilarious.

In fact, I really think they should take this idea and run with it. It’ll be like playing a Nintendo game that didn’t have the NBA licensing where you get Erik Carnation and Kirk Nomisski going head-to-head in a game between the Chicago Gulls and the Dallas White Horses. This could be a revolutionary idea that will put the power back in the players’ hands while also simultaneously being gut-bustingly funny.

The idea of NBA players “starting” their own “league” is preposterous. Unless they’re going to find a way to build state-of-the-art arenas, hire team employees, figure out amortization for team purchases, actually play hard, and a billion other things it won’t really be real. But if they do this thing where they have a fake NBA that exactly mimics the real one, even for just a few games, that’ll be great for so many reasons. I’m personally looking looking forward to the laughs, but some basketball would be nice too.