Twelve days ago, Steve Smith punched Ken Lucas in the face. The Panthers subsequently suspended Smith for two games and Lucas got a broken nose -- not to mention the emotional scars -- for his troubles.
Smith eventually apologized, Lucas accepted, and Karma even made an unexpected appearance. And now, almost two weeks after Smith went all "Westbrook", Lucas is finally ready to talk how he was able to forgive the guy who rearranged his face.
The Charlotte Observer's Tom Sorensen spoke with Lucas prior to yesterday's practice and got right to the point:
How do you let it go?Lucas told Sorensen that Smith seemed to take an instant disliking to him when he arrived in Charlotte, but says he's thankful that a broken nose and a black eye was the worst of it.
"I'm not going to lie to you and tell you it was easy," says Lucas. "I never thought I could." He adds: "I could have hurt him in a serious way."
Did you think about it?
"I didn't," he says.
But if somebody goes after you, don't you, at some level, want to go after them?
"It takes a strong spiritual person not to," Lucas says. "I was shocked and surprised that I could forgive him."
"It could have ended a lot of different ways," says Lucas. "I could have lost my eyesight, I could have lost consciousness, I could have lost my life."Well, I'm certainly glad Smith didn't kill him. That would've been a craptastic start to the season. Like learning that the team had signed Mittens to be the backup quarterback and then watching in horror as Jake Delhomme went down with an arm injury. Maybe worse.