NBA Essentials provides the must-see links, quotes and videos of the day.
* " 'I was just sitting there, looking out the window -- dead even where the plane hit,' [Vince] Carter said before tipoff Thursday night, still incredulous over the US Airways crash he saw hours earlier. ... 'I thought I was watching TV. It landed like it was a movie. It hit like nose first, and you could (hear) the impact. Couldn't believe it. Just couldn't believe it.' " -- Star Ledger
* "Had to laugh when [Jerry] Sloan mentioned at shootaround that he used to coach a team called the Thunder. That would be the old Evansville (Ind.) Thunder in the CBA. Which tells you all you need to know about whether Thunder is an NBA-quality name."- Ross Siler, Salt Lake Tribune
* "Oh, and please shut up about the 'double double,' especially for big men. You know what getting 10 points and 10 rebounds was called before somebody invented the 'double double'? It was called doing your f------ job." -- Tom Scocca (via TrueHoop)
* Dikembe Mutombo on Yao Ming: "Those are bull. I told him that. He's too tall to be taking charges. He needs to learn to play defense without using his chest. You don't block a shot with your chest. Maybe Yao is listening to Shane (Battier). Maybe he wants to be a guard or something. Maybe he's planning to lead the league in charges. So I have to stop him. I have to teach him to lead the league in blocked shots, not charges." -- Houston Chronicle
* Mark Cuban's email to Jay Mariotti: "Confront? Are u serious? There was no confrontation. Get your (bleep) together, Jay," he writes back. "Ask me an informed question w some substance." -- FanHouse