Nov. 5, 1963

Wide Clyde Lovellette, as Johnny Most called him, personified NBA players of his era. He shared a Melrose, Mass., apartment with John Havlicek and Larry Siegfried. Maybe one or all of them enjoyed making meals. But most Mondays during the season, they could enjoy a meal at the Lenox Hotel, on the corner of Exeter and Boylston Streets.

(As an Exeter native I slip the ol’ hometown into these little essays whenever possible.)

Red Auerbach called the Lenox his home away from home for most of his coaching career. And Mondays were set aside for a weekly basketball lunch, with local sports reporters owning an open invitation.

At this lunch Lovellete predicted that the Celtics would repeat as Eastern Division champions. Their status as division champs would be tested by the Cincinnati Royals, who made a major upgrade by rookie Jerry Lucas.

Lovellette, approaching the end of his career, hadn’t lost the bravado of a man whose team was in the midst of a dynasty.

“I don’t think Mr. Lucas means that much to the league,” Wide Clyde declared.