Steve Chiotakis: NBA officials are trying to put together a shortened season, now that a draft deal's been reached between players and owners. The regular season would run through late April, with a tentative start on Christmas Day.
Henry Abbott is with ESPN.com's TrueHoop Blog and he's with us now from New Jersey. Hey Henry.
Henry Abbott: How are you?
Chiotakis: I'm doing well. So does this thing have a chance at making it all the way through?
Abbott: Yes, this will be approved almost certainly. At the end -- they had already agreed to how much money the players would make which was the really big issue and they were fighting over how much leverage free agents would have in the years to come. And the players got a couple little victories there -- so they'll be happy enough I would think.
Chiotakis: So what has to happen, Henry, for us to see some basketball on Christmas?
Abbott: There's plenty of steps. The players have to re-form their union, they have to drop their lawsuits against the NBA, and a new collective bargaining agreement -- which is hundreds of pages long -- has to be drafted with all the minor agreements yet to be agreed to. That has to be sorted out. All that has to be ratified by both owners and players by December 9th, when training camps will open. Then there will be a period of free agency and then that will put us on schedule to have perhaps a few preseason games and then the regular season starting on the 25th the nationally televised triple-header.
Chiotakis: How ticked off are fans about all this? Do you think they're going to come back in droves?
Abbott: You know what's hilarious, is I'll bet you the ones who say they're really angry will be back immediately -- because you know those ones are passionate about the NBA. The ones who silently slipped away in the night, who knows what it takes to bring them back.
Chiotakis: Henry Abbott, from ESPN.com's True Hoop Blog. Henry, thanks.
Abbott: Thanks for having me.