"I thought he didn't like me and he thought I didn't like him. It's plain and simple," Smith said. "I mean I've always respected Ken. I guess it was just two prima donnas."
However, since then Smith and Lucas sat down and talked — for about 2 1/2 hours, according to Smith — and ironed things out.
"Yeah, I would say we're friends," Smith said. "I would think we're friends. I think the conversation we had (in training camp) would indicate we are. I think we had a great conversation," he said. "There were some frowns going on, some laughing and we talked about a lot of things. I think that was kind of the icebreaker. Hopefully it continues and I think it will."
Smith makes his return to the field Sunday when Carolina visits Minnesota.
Despite having been suspended twice by the Panthers for fighting with teammates, Smith doesn't believe he's down to his last chance with the Panthers. The other incident came back in 2002 when Smith beat up teammate Anthony Bright in a film room fight.
"No, I'm not looking at it that way," Smith said. "I just come here to play. Is it my last chance? I don't see putting myself back in this predicament, no matter what people may speculate.
"People already had their perception of me anyway. I'm just kind of doing my deal and still going on. Playing football and doing the stuff I need to do. It is what it is. If I allow my past to just stay in the back of my head all of the time, then I miss out on the future and the present. ... That is where I'm at. I'm trying to let it go. Not to forget about it, no. Yes, I've made the mistake twice. I'm not planning (on) making it a third time."
Smith said he's not going back into anger management counseling.