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Beck: Michael Jordan Leads Hard-Line Ownership Contingent

Howard Beck of The New York Times reports that Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan is leading a vocal minority of hard-line NBA owners who plan to veto any new Collective Bargaining Agreement that offers the National Basketball Players Association more than a 50/50 revenue split.

The league is facing an equivalent threat from a trenchant group of owners, who are vowing to oppose any deal that gives players more than 50 percent of revenue. The owners' faction includes between 10 and 14 owners and is being led by Charlotte's Michael Jordan, according to a person who has spoken with the owners. That group wanted the players' share set no higher than 47 percent, and it was upset when league negotiators proposed a 50-50 split last month.

According to the person who spoke with the owners, Jordan's faction intends to vote against the 50-50 deal, if negotiations get that far. Saturday's owners meeting was arranged in part to address that concern. 

A majority of the 29 owners are believed to support a 50-50 deal, but they are reluctant to move further. "There's no one who's interested in going above 50 percent," said the person who has spoken with the owners.

We can safely assume that Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen is among this group.

This news comes one day after a large group of NBA players consulted a decertification attorney without informing the NBPA. The two sides, who now both appear to be dug in deeply, are scheduled to meet on Saturday in New York City.

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter