Los Angeles Lakers fans were not alone when a large number of them voiced their frustration about the team hiring Mike D'Antoni over Phil Jackson. As it turns out, Jeanie Buss didn't initially approve of the decision either.
Buss told Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles that she wanted Jackson back on the sidelines after the team dismissed Mike Brown early in the 2012-13 season:
I was not happy with how things happened. I just think it was a difficult process to go through. I was disappointed, but I'm biased. I don't think anybody would judge me to say [Phil] is the best coach in the entire world. That's my prerogative to feel that way. They had their reasons for doing what they did, but I kind of have that what-if feeling. What if he had coached?
It's safe to say that she's not the only member of Lakers Nation having that what-if feeling considering how the Lakers season turned out. But what about Jackson's involvement with the team at this point?
Buss acknowledged a casual relationship exists between general manager Mitch Kupchak and Jackson, but there is no official title. Jackson said that he has been asked to give his input and is working for the team in a consulting role.
Kupchak "did not rule out the possibility" of Jackson having a more "official role with the team," so the door for Jackson to return to the Lakers is still wide open.
It might not be the kind of return Lakers fans had envisioned, but it sure seems like Jackson is one step closer to returning to the team.
That should be reason for Lakers fans to smile.