I'm no John L. Lewis, but this is no way to run a labor negotiation.
Seriously, David Stern coming off as some sort of muscle for the mob is exactly the thing that will unify the players, if in fact the fractures that have been reported/speculated upon actually exist. The surest way to unite people against you, after all, is to issue the sort of clumsy threat Stern issued about agreeing to a 50-50 split of Basketball Related Income or else face a markedly worse deal.
The crazy thing, of course, is the hard-line owners actually want the players to tell Stern to take a hike. The goal for them has always been to break the union and confiscate the lion's share of BRI, 100 percent of which is generated by the players. They're so set on this, in fact, that even the specter of shutting down the entire season doesn't faze them.
They are, of course, out of their minds. As opposed to Stern, whose ultimatum was merely mindless, and smelled strongly of a growing desperation, besides.