Picked-up pieces while wondering whether freedom fighter Bob Kraft will make another triumphant, crowd-rousing appearance at a Garden playoff game any time soon . . .
■ The death of John Havlicek inspired some amazing commentary on Twitter.
“It is getting difficult each time I hear about another contemporary that passes,’’ Bill Russell wrote. “He was not just a teammate & a great guy, but he was family.’’
From Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: “I met John Havlicek at the same time & place that I met Red Auerbach and Bill Russell @ my high school gym in Autumn of 1961 — my freshman year. He was still playing when I entered the league and our friendship grew.”
From Jack Nicklaus, who crossed paths with Havlicek at Ohio State from 1959-61, on Facebook: “John loved the outdoors, loved to fish, and frequently when he played golf at Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach, he carried a fishing pole in his bag. But if there is one thing we should all remember about John Havlicek, it is his heart. John always made himself available to help others. Every time there was a charity event, or any time someone could make a difference in someone else’s life, John Havlicek was there.”
Paul Pierce wrote about accepting the 2008 NBA championship hardware from Havlicek: “Will never forget you handing me that championship trophy and how emotional I was.”
In an e-mail, former major league pitcher Jim Kaat wrote, “I was always flattered when people would pass me on the street and say, ‘That’s John Havlicek.’ Hondo and I had a good laugh about that when we would meet.
“My favorite memory was when we were competing in a made-for-TV event for retired athletes. John and I were running the 100-yard dash against Drew Pearson and Alexis Arguello. We were so far behind we were carrying on a conversation with one another.
“What an all-around player and great all-around man.’’
Auerbach never saw Havlicek play at Ohio State, but according to Sports Museum curator Richard Johnson, Havlicek was selected by Auerbach “on the recommendation of sportscaster and college basketball player Curt Gowdy.’’
Havlicek was a three-sport star at Bridgeport (Ohio) High, where one of his basketball teammates was future baseball Hall of Famer Phil Niekro.
Finally, it you look closely at the Walter Iooss photo of “Havlicek Steals The Ball’’ that ran on the front page of the Globe the day after Hondo died, you can see the “Coming Events” sign on the old Garden’s second balcony, and it includes 1965 Finals dates for Celtics vs. Lakers and a pitch for “Clay vs. Liston May 25.”
That was the second Cassius Clay-Sonny Liston bout, which was eventually moved to Lewiston, Maine, after Clay (Muhammad Ali) suffered a hernia in the days before the fight was scheduled to be held in Boston.
■ Some of the Red Sox are scheduled to visit with President Trump Thursday at the White House. Manager Alex Cora has yet to say whether he’ll go. I’m betting no.
Regarding attendance, nothing has changed since the Globe polled players during spring training. With the exception of Sandy Leon (Venezuelan) and J.D. Martinez (Cuban heritage, born and raised in southern Florida), all the players who have committed to going are white and all the players who have said they are not going are persons of color.
This would not seem to be a team bonding experience. Red Sox owners John Henry and Tom Werner said they are going.
■ It’s downright hideous that the Patriots Hall of Fame committee annually produces a “final three” ballot without the name of Bill Parcells.
■ Very cool that the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard hit a homer in his 1-0 win over the Reds Thursday. Providing the only run in his shutout win, Syndergaard joined the likes of Bob Welch, Juan Pizarro, Jim Bunning, Early Wynn, Spud Chandler, and Red Ruffing.
More impressive was Red Sox starter Earl Wilson hitting a homer in his 2-0 no-hitter against the Angels at Fenway in 1962.
■ Can everyone stop crying about NBA officiating? If the other team is taking more free throws than your team, it probably means the other team is working harder than your team. It does not mean the officials are out to get your team.
■ The James Harden-Scott Foster feud reminds me of Orioles manager Earl Weaver vs. umpire Ron Luciano in the 1970s.
Luciano regularly ejected Weaver, and the American League took him off Orioles games for a couple of seasons. When Luciano returned to work an Orioles game in Chicago in 1979, Weaver was ejected in Game 1 of a doubleheader, then announced he was protesting Game 2 because of the “integrity of the umpire.’’
Weaver was suspended three games by American League president Lee MacPhail.
■ Maybe Kraft can claim he was duped again. Like when he ran up the white flag in Deflategate or when he gave Aaron Hernandez the big contract.
■ According to the Patriots media cartel, they just had the best draft day since Auerbach came away with Hall of Famers Russell, Tommy Heinsohn, and K.C. Jones in 1956.
■ Speaking of good drafts, Theo Epstein gets too much credit most of the time, but still doesn’t get enough credit for his last Red Sox draft in 2011. That was the year Theo and the minions got Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Matt Barnes, Blake Swihart, and Travis Shaw. Among current Sox, Theo also gets credit for Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia, Christian Vazquez, and Brandon Workman.
■ Speaking of JBJ, what does a guy have to do to drop out of the Sox lineup? Going into Friday night, Bradley was at .149 with an on-base percentage of .236 when the Sox mercifully inserted Tzu-Wei Lin — who is not an outfielder by trade — into the lineup in center.
Bradley, who banged into the center field fence twice Thursday night, had zero homers, 10 walks, and 32 strikeouts to that point. Where are Chris Young and Darnell McDonald when you need them? It was Lin’s seventh career game in the outfield, his second start.
The Sox simply don’t have anybody else and they don’t want to use Martinez in the outfield regularly. So JBJ plays. Virtually every day. Regardless of his numbers. Bradley is a career .234 hitter. He’ll be 30 next season.
■ QUIZ: What two National League teams have never had an MVP? (Answer below.)
■ Holy Cross is searching for a new athletic director.
■ There’s a giant spoked “B” on the carpet in the middle of the Bruins dressing room, and the rug is guarded religiously by team staff to keep media nitwits from accidentally stepping on it when walking across the room. (Why not put the “B” on the ceiling, instead of the floor, some might ask?)
So why was MMA fighter Conor McGregor not shooed off the B when he gave his pep talk to the Bruins before a late-season game at the Garden? Check the video. McGregor walked all over the sacred spot.
■ Underrated spring baseball book is “Inside the Empire,’’ a deep dive on the inner workings of today’s Yankees by Bob Klapisch and Paul Solotaroff. You also want to check out “Son of Havana,” by Luis Tiant with Saul Wisnia.
■ In March, the New York Times wrote a lengthy story on the Kraft family’s Revolution ownership. The article noted that the Krafts spent $20 million to buy an e-sports team in 2018, adding, “The sardonic joke among some Revolution supporters is that now they’re not even the neglected second child, but something even worse: the ignored middle child.’’
According to the Times, Bob and Jonathan Kraft declined to be interviewed for the story.
■ Folks in the athletic department at Boston College do not like 98.5 The Sports Hub.
■ The Joe Andruzzi Foundation raised more than $185,000 on Marathon Day this year. Jen Andruzzi, Joe’s wife, ran in the race. The JAF has raised more than $6 million for families affected by cancer.
■ Quiz answer: Mets and Diamondbacks.Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Dan_Shaughnessy