Lakers Issue Statement Regarding Kelli Tennant’s Allegations Against Luke Walton
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

While former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton faced intense scrutiny throughout the 2018-19 NBA season, he’s now at the center of a lawsuit filed by former Spectrum SportsNet reporter Kelli Tennant, which alleges sexual assault.

The initial report of Tennant’s lawsuit suggested the incident occurred in May 2017, which overlapped with the three seasons Walton served as head coach. However, it’s since come to light the lawsuit centers around an encounter while Walton was an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors.

“This alleged incident took place before Luke Walton was the Head Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers,” the Lakers said in a statement Monday night.

“At no time before or during his employment here was this allegation reported to the Lakers. If it had been, we would have immediately commenced an investigation and notified the NBA. Since Luke Walton is now under contract to another team, we will have no further comment.”

With the Lakers unaware of the allegations, it was not a factor in the team deciding to part ways with Walton. It was presented as a mutual decision, though Walton reportedly wanted to return as head coach.

Nevertheless, his unemployment did not last long, as Walton was hired by the Sacramento Kings. The Kings and Warriors have both issued statements regarding the incident, acknowledging they are aware of the lawsuit and are gathering information at this time.