With Panthers' Smith it's ask and receive

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Sometimes reporters don't ask the best questions just as sometimes athletes don't make the best decisions on or off the field. Sometimes the result is a funny response. Sometimes the result is a pointed response.

There was a little of all of that this past week surrounding Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith.

The first came following Sunday's 23-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Smith was asked whether he would be pulling for Seattle or San Francisco in the NFC Championship.

In other words, not the best question at that point.

The reporter got more than he bargained.

“You really want me to thump you upside the head?” Smith said. “That was the dumbest question, and that's the second dumbest question you've asked. I only cheer for one team. Actually, two teams. My team and my kid's team. Other than that I can give a bleep.”

Then he smiled. Big.

All in all, a pretty good answer except for the thump upside the head part.

Smith wasn't quite so hard on the reporter who asked if he would be back in 2014 even though he has a contract that could keep him at Carolina through 2016.

Not to mention, he is the best receiver on the team.

"Contractually I will play,'' he said. "So I'll be here.''

The last came on Tuesday as general manager Dave Gettleman wrapped up the season. He was asked if he could imagine the Panthers without Smith next season.

Gettleman buried his face in his hands and laughed.

"It's liquid. It's fluid,'' said Gettleman, who had spent most of his 36 minutes telling us he doesn't discuss contracts. "Who knows? I may get hit by a bus walking out the door.''

At least he didn't suggest the reporter might get hit by a bus.