Surprise: In NBA dispute, money not mattering most

By BRIAN MAHONEY | October 12, 2011 | 5:40 PM EDT

Derek Fisher, president of the NBA players union, talks with reporters, Monday, Oct. 10, 2011, in New York. NBA Commissioner David Stern canceled the first two weeks of the basketball season after players and owners were unable to reach a new labor deal to end the lockout. (AP Photo/David Karp)

NEW YORK (AP) — NBA owners apparently weren't bluffing when they said they wanted competitive balance just as much as a chance to profit.

Though Commissioner David Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver have insisted throughout the lockout they needed the potential for both in a new collective bargaining agreement, there was often a belief — even from players — that money mattered most.

Yet it was the salary cap system, not the division of revenues, that emerged as the biggest obstacle to a new labor deal in time to save the start of the regular season.

On Wednesday, Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony said he's concerned there may not be basketball at all this season.