I once went to the CBA to try to determine how the BRI was figured. I gave up. It was extremely complicated. However, it is my understanding that the owners hold back 8 % of each player's salary and do not disburse it unless the total salaries are equal to or less than the players' share of the BRI.
If we assume for the sake of analysis that the hold back and the salaries paid add precisely up to the players' BRI share -- an unlikely assumption -- then each player from whom 8% was withheld will get his remaining 8%. Thus the players involved will be all those players who had a salary from which 8% had been held in escrow.
On the other hand, if we assume that the players' share of the BRI is less than 100% of their combined salaries, then I trust the owners will only return a pro rata share of the 8% withheld so that the total amount paid is the equivalent of the players' BRI share. Fortunately for the owners, I believe that under the previous CBA the players never owed more than the hold back or even any of the hold back.
If the players' share of the BRI exceeds 100% of the combined salaries for all of the players, then I "assume" the owners will pay the difference pro rata to each of the players. Thus a player whose salary was $10M will get a "BRI bonus" that is twice what a player with a $5M contract would get. I have no idea how the owners divide the overage.
I tried to find out what the total of the salaries for all players was for 2010-11. My source was wikipedia, so take it for what it is worth. But, I added up from that site a total 2010-11 "salary" for the players of approximately $1.954 billion. But the players' share of BRI for that season has been reported as $2.176 billion. The difference is $222M. I trust the players' got their bonuses, but I recall that early in the negotiations the owners wanted to keep all the hold back and pay no "bonus.".
I am making assumptions here, and I can not state as fact that the old CBA required the owners to give back to the players the difference between total salaries and BRI share. It may have been one sided, i.e., that the players got their full salaries as long as the total did not exceed BRI share, but otherwise just got their salaries. If the latter is the case,then the BRI percentage split is even more important.
When I get some time, I might try to determine what the old CBA said about this.