Interesting take on the Jackson situation:
Jackson wanted to humiliate Lakers vice president Jim Buss far more than he wanted to coach the team. He wanted significant allowances on travel, coaching duties and an ability to veto player personnel moves that didn't fit his vision. With an unprecedented 11 coaching championships, Jackson had every right to make unprecedented demands. He doesn't have the right to be surprised when the Lakers rejected them and hired a pliable, cheaper coach in Mike D'Antoni
Woj is the only one of the ESPN guys whose opinion and reporting I respect with regard to the NBA. But I think his belief that Phil was in a pissing match with Jimmy Buss is way off base. Phil is 67 years old and I just don't believe that at this point in his life, he needs to prove who has the largest trouser snake in the room -- especially if it is just Jimmy Buss in that room with him. BTW, now Jim I can see maybe needing to win such a battle.
As has been pointed out, considering who Phil is and what he has done for this organization, an ownership stake was certainly not an unreasonable request. Magic was sold a stake in the team at a reduced amount because ODB just loves him. But with his 5 championships and 7 Finals appearances in the 00's, Phil has increased the value of the franchie tremendously. Pat Riley hadn't done anything close to this (still hasn't) and got an ownersip stake in the Heat.
But after a night to sleep on it, I can see why the Lakers made this move. I still think it was a huge mistake in the short term, and that's all that really matters right now, and an iffy proposition for the long term. The Lakers see D'Antoni (and his more modern than Phil's, offense), Howard, and (for a while) Nash, as the team's future. That means they are willing to give up some of the sureness of a present with Phil, Kobe, Pau, Nash, and Howard, for that future.
Huge, huge gamble with a coach who has NEVER been to the Finals, especially with LeBron attempting to form a dynasty in the east. If D'Antoni does manage to get this team to the Finals, he is liable to be pretty satisfied, ecstatic even, but he may not be aware that Laker fans are so "over" that -- we want the ring or it means nothing.