AS FALL begins to give way to winter, there is a distinct smell of burning leaves in the evening air that reminds me of … basketball. Weird, I know. As the son of a high school coach who broke into empty gyms at night to force his boy to practice left-hand layups—to no avail—the cool October air always provides an olfactory sense of nostalgia.

But unlike past years, professional basketball doesn’t appear to be on the agenda. Right now, the NBA is in danger of losing the entire season as owners and players squabble over money and an assortment of other issues that mean nothing to the common fan. Already, the first four weeks of the season have been canceled.

With the NBA lockout unlikely to end any time soon, hoops fans are being prevented from seeing the ferocity of a Derrick Rose-led fast break or the grace of a Ray Allen jump shot or, worst of all, experiencing the glee that accompanies LeBron choking on his fear of the limelight.

Undoubtedly, the San Jose Sharks will pick up the slack, and thank god for that. Without hockey, the Silicon Valley sports landscape would be as exciting as a winter in Turlock. (No offense, college basketball, but wake me up in March.)

But as NBA players, owners and attorneys bicker, a familiar cast of characters to the Bay Area basketball scene is planning a reunion.

Members of the 2007 Golden State Warriors, who were rallied by fans with the phrase “We Believe” in the massive upset of the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs that year, will be playing in a charity event Nov. 5 at the San Jose State Event Center. The fundraiser, called the “We Believe vs. Dubs,” will benefit the Kaiser Permanente Breast Cancer Research foundation as well as Matt Barnes’ Athletes vs. Cancer foundation. Barnes, who was embraced as a fan favorite during his time with the Warriors, helped organize the event.

While the charity game isn’t expected to feature Golden State’s best players during its successful 2007 run — Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson have curiously not committed to play — current Warriors Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry and David Lee will be joined by former Warriors Jason Richardson, Gilbert Arenas, Barnes and others.

Tickets went on sale this week at Ticketmaster, and while the prices are high in some cases—a quick check online had seats available at only $60 and $100 — fans and their wallets can take solace in the fact that part of the proceeds are going to an excellent cause.