Patrick, I already have an alternative—and so do you. I had to reread all your posts to believe it, but college basketball was only mentioned once, a cursory acknowledgment by Emma. But in many ways, men's college hoops (and women's, though not as much) is more fun to follow than the NBA. Instead of 30 teams competing for 16 playoff spots, it's more than 300 fighting for 68 March Madness slots (please God let there be no expansion to 96 teams). Instead of a preponderance of isolation sets with too much dribbling and too little ball movement, there are a plethora of motion offenses that make even the most unathletic school dangerous (see: Cornell 2009-10). And of course there's the Big Dance itself, for my money the most exciting postseason in all of sports, and its workplace productivity-killing first two rounds.
College hoops even has its own built-in fan base: alumni. You don't have to be a Duke or UNC grad to love your alma mater's basketball program and follow it religiously. Even at my beloved Northwestern, the Brooklyn Dodgers of NCAA hoops (we're the only major conference team that's never made the tournament... but wait 'till next year!) there's a rabid fan base that will undoubtedly grow larger if there's no NBA season.
So let Stern, Hunter and the rest of them fritter away what could be the league's most exciting season in a generation. I'll be counting the days until the Preseason NIT.