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NBA Lockout: E-Mails Informing Team Employees To Prepare For End Of Stoppage Aren't New, Source Tells

E-mails directing team employees to prepare for the end of the NBA lockout reported by Deadspin on Friday are not new occurrences, a league source tells Similar e-mails preparing staff for the commencement of normal league operations have gone out during each major set of talks since August.

Top officials from the NBA and its players' union met for 22 hours on Wednesday and Thursday, with David Stern and union director Billy Hunter expressing optimism that a deal could be completed Friday or soon thereafter. Reports have surfaced indicating that the league has reached out to arena operators in an effort to maintain flexibility on late April 2012 dates, with the idea being that the regular season would be stretched until the end of that month if the lockout ends this weekend and an 82-game schedule is preserved.

Deadspin reported on Friday that employees of the New Jersey Nets and Philadelphia 76ers were gearing up to return to normal operations as soon as Monday.