NBA Lockout Deal Near, Team Employees Told Be Prepared To Get Back To Work, Says Report

Employees of the New Jersey Nets and Philadelphia 76ers have been told to prepare for the NBA lockout to be lifted soon, with "business as usual" in effect as soon as Monday, reports Barry Petchesky of Deadspin.

The New Jersey Nets ticket sales office, idle for most of the fall, is holding a series of hastily called meetings today under the theme "Be Ready." One staffer tells us that a department-wide email has been circulated, instructing employees that "it's time to get back to work." The short-staffed 76ers' team office has been told that Monday will be "all hands on deck," as per orders from the league.

Top officials from the NBA and players' union are meeting in New York City, ironing out pretty major issues left unresolved through Thursday's talks. Both NBA commissioner David Stern and union director Billy Hunter seemed encouraged that a deal could be reached as early as Friday in a chat with reporters after Thursday's session. The sides met for 15 hours on Wednesday and early Thursday and another seven hours on Thursday.

UPDATE: This type of e-mail to team employees is not new.

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