Vince Carter felt what New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith did to him Monday in the Dallas Mavericks’ game was nothing more than a childish prank.
With 10:43 left at Madison Square Garden, Smith pulled Carter’s headband down over his left ear. Carter laughed it off then, and despite all the media attention the incident received, he’s still unmoved by it.
“It wasn’t a big deal to me,” Carter said. “I could see if he pulled it over my eyes while I was running the pick-and-roll right then, where I couldn’t see or something like that.
“Oh yeah, I’m going to complain to the refs then. But he just pulled it over my ear.”
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Carter believes the backlash is a result of Smith’s reputation.
On Jan. 5 at American Airlines Center, Smith tried to untie the shoelaces of Mavs forward Shawn Marion while Dirk Nowitzki was attempting a free throw. The NBA warned Smith the next day.
But a day later, Smith attempted to untie the shoelaces of Detroit’s Greg Smith. That’s when the NBA stepped in and fined Smith $50,000.
The NBA hasn’t ruled in the Smith-Carter case.
Carter added that Smith also playfully tried to pull on his arm sleeve Monday.
“I’m like, ‘Little kid, little brother get out of here,’ ” Carter said. “That’s how I looked at it because I’ve known him for a very long time.
“I didn’t think anything of it because it didn’t affect anything I was trying to do at the time.”
Carter said Smith’s actions pale in comparison to an incident in April 2012 when Mavericks guard Delonte West stuck his finger in the ear of Utah forward Gordon Hayward.
“Now we’re getting into something a little different,” Carter said. “When that happens that’s when you complain.
“Then you start getting a little upset and you say something to the ref.”
Courting new ideas?
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said he hasn’t heard that the NBA could be thinking about expanding the width of the court and possibly adding a 4-point play.
However, Carlisle did say: “I went to the Globetrotters game a few weeks ago and they have a 4-point hot spot and they have one quarter they hand out an orange jersey ... the hot-hand jersey.
“If you get it, and that player scores, they get double points. So if we’re lobbying for stuff, let’s lobby for the hot-hand jersey.”
Carlisle, who is on the NBA’s competition committee, believes widening the court would be next to impossible because it would possibly require arenas getting rid of some high-priced courtside seats.
“The only thing I’ll say about it is I don’t know that arenas are configured for a larger court,” Carlisle said. “It’s been brought up in past years before.
“It was always pretty much that those ideas were non-starters because of the size of the arenas and the importance of having close seats.”