Morning sports update: Linda Holliday explained how Nike the dog’s draft moment came together

"All of a sudden he goes, 'Look, look at the table.'"

Bill Belichick and Linda Holliday.
Bill Belichick and Linda Holliday. –Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

The sports world continues to slowly plan its possible return, though exactly when and how that might occur remains to be seen. The NBA is tentatively targeting a May 8 return to practice facilities for players, while the English Premier League has set its equivalent for May 18.

Still, leagues will are proceeding with an abundance of caution, fearing the response if they return too soon.

Linda Holliday on Nike’s starring role during the draft: Though the Patriots traded out of the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, they were busy on Day 2.

And just as the drama over who the Patriots would select with the 37th pick built to a crescendo, ESPN cameras cut to a live look at Bill Belichick’s home on Nantucket. But instead of seeing the legendary New England coach, the television broadcast found a different member of the family sitting in Belichick’s chair.

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Nike, Bill and Linda Holliday’s dog, was seated in the coach’s chair. The moment immediately became one of the memorable images of the entire draft.

In a recent episode of Adam Schefter’s podcast, Holliday — Belichick’s longtime girlfriend — gave some background on the circumstances of Nike’s big moment.

“All of us are doing the draft from home, and Nantucket’s got very strict rules about who is coming to the island,” said Holliday, “so I worked with the Patriots IT people and said, ‘Teach me, I’ll do lighting, I’ll do IT, I’ll do it all.’ So I’m doing lighting, and next thing I know, Bill had a couple treats left over near his laptop and he stepped away from the table.

“All of a sudden he goes, ‘Look, look at the table,'” Holliday continued. “And there Nike was, sitting there, waiting patiently. He knew his treats were there, so that’s what prompted him getting up to the table, and he was just waiting patiently for the word to take his treats.”

Holliday said that Nike’s superb television debut was the product of years of hard work and training.

“Nike’s been through a lot of rigorous training the first year,” added Holliday. “He’s two years old now, two years in February. And the first year he went through a lot of training because quite honestly [Alaskan] Klee Kai’s are like huskies, they have a lot of husky in them, and I’m the daughter of a veterinarian, so I thought I could train any dog around.

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“Nike won, he won that battle the first year,” Holliday admitted. “He was uncontrollable, unmanageable, wouldn’t behave, he nips people, he did things the way Nike wanted to do things.  I had a lot of comments on how well-behaved Nike was — and Nike was during his segment at the draft — but that came with an excessive amount of training that both Bill and I still do to this day, working with him.”

Trivia: Can you name the former Red Sox pitcher using these clues:

  • He pitched for seven teams during his Major League career
  • He made his Major League debut in Seattle
  • He saved 42 games for the Red Sox one season, and won 21 games two years later

More from Boston.com:

Manny Ramirez reportedly wants to make a comeback in Taiwan at 48:

Jaylen Brown marked another motivational anniversary on Tuesday:

On this day: In 1986, Roger Clemens struck out 20 batters in a 3-1 win over the Mariners. It was the first of two times that Clemens would achieve the historic feat.

Something more: Dennis Rodman breaks down the triangle offense.

Trivia answer: Derek Lowe

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