Vince Carter didn''t think it was a big deal when New York guard J. J. Smith tugged on his headband with 10:43 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Dallas Mavericks' 110-108 victory over the New York Knicks on Monday night at Madison Square Garden.
"It was just funny to me,'' Carter said after Wednesday's shootaround at American Airlines Center. "He's a good friend and it didn't bother me.
"I hear everybody making a big deal about it, but he didn't pull it over my eyes where I couldn't see or play the game, so it wasn't a big deal. But I know because it's him it's an issue.''
Smith attempted to untie the shoelaces of Mavericks forward Shawn Marion during a game on Jan. 5. The next day the NBA warned him about it.
But on Jan. 7, Smith again tried to untie the shoelaces of a player -- this time Detroit's Greg Monroe was the victim.
The NBA subsequently fined Smith $50,000 for the infraction.
Carter was torching the Knicks on Monday, finishing with a season-high 23 points while converting seven-of-12 shots from 3-point range. He said what Smith did was just playful banter that sometimes happens during the course of a game.
"He didn't want me to make any more shots, so he stood up there and he was just joking, he said, 'Dang, you're making all these shots,' '' Carter said. "We were laughing and joking and that's what it was.
"I didn't argue with the ref or anything like that. It wasn't a big deal to me.''
The NBA has yet to determine if Smith will be fined for pulling Carter's headband.