It's hard for outsiders to really speak knowledgeably about CBA issues, and it's a hell of a lot less fun than talking about actual basketball, but Forbes just dropped a little science and I thought I'd share:
During the 2009-10 season 17 teamshad negative operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), meaning they bled cash. Five of these teams (Indiana Pacers, Charlotte Bobcats, Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic, New Jersey Nets) will lose less money by not playing games this season under the current CBA than they would if the season were played. There is no reason for these owners to agree to a salary cap that will give the players more than 50% of the league’s revenue.
This means of the 25 remaining teams only 10 have to join the five teams above to keep the owners unified behind Stern. And many of those teams, like the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks, would be borderline profitable. There simply would not be enough profitable teams above the 50% split to make the owners cave.
Taken from hoopsworld: http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-pm-how-will-2012-nba-draft-work/
My take on this is simple; a business needs to be profitable to survive. Unless bold-faced lies are being told, MJ and other small market owners are right to stand strong on league revenue sharing. Is MJ really burning bridges with some agents? Probably not. But even if he is, he's probably better off for doing so. I'm totally for players making as much money as they can, but the owners and the fans determine how much money that is. It doesn't make sense for a team to agree to a deal that guarantees it will lose money and continue to suck for years to come. I'll gladly give up an entire NBA season if it means sustainability and parity for small markets teams.