- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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DALLAS -- Mavericks sixth man Vince Carter, the victim of New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith's playful headband tug Monday night, thinks people need to calm down instead of treating Smith's latest in-game prank as a controversy.
"What's the drama? It was just funny to me," said Carter, who had hit 3-pointers on the previous two possessions when Smith tugged the headband over his left ear with 10:54 left in the Mavs' 110-108 win at Madison Square Garden. "It was just one of those things. He's a good friend. 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. I know because it's him it's an issue, but I've known him for a long time. He didn't want me making any more shots. He was just joking."
After the game, Smith denied tugging Carter's headband despite replays clearly showing otherwise.
Smith was fined $50,000 by the NBA in early January for attempting to untie the shoelaces of two opponents while lining up during free throws. One of those opponents was Mavs forward Shawn Marion, who at the time shrugged it off as a harmless joke.
Carter, who scored a season-high 23 points and was 7-of-12 from 3-point range against the Knicks, also considers Smith's antics Monday to be harmless humor.
"Everybody had a little laugh on the side," he said, "then we didn't even think about it."