Luke Walton has had a bad start to 2019. As the former head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, Luke under underachieved dramatically. There is no other way to say it. Before LeBron James came to the team in 2018, Luke had a handful of young, talented players that looked to be the future of the Lakers. Once LeBron came, everything changed. LeBron got hurt during the course of the year, and those young, talented Laker players I spoke about only got worse. LeBron wanted and tried to trade them all, but that didn’t work. The young, talented Laker players eventually turned their back on Luke, and eventually so did LeBron. Luke was no longer apart of the Lakers long term plan, so they fired Luke at the end of the regular season. Fortunately, the Kings were looking for a new coach, and thought that Luke would be the perfect man for the job. Sacramento hired Luke Walton a few weeks ago, as their new head coach. Today they might questioning if they made the right choice.
Former SportsNet LA reporter, Kelli Tennant is suing Luke Walton for sexual assault. The incident stems back from 2017, when Luke was still an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors were in the playoffs during this time. Kelli Tennant and Luke Walton previously had written a book together called “The Transition: Every Athletes Guide to Life after Sports.” back in 2014. She used the words “Trusted Mentor” when speaking about Luke in the court documents she submitted. This maybe the reason she believed it would be fine to meet with Luke at his Santa Monica Hotel.
According to the court documents, Kelli says when she arrived at Walton’s hotel, he convinced her to up to his room so they could “catch up.” She claims when they got up to his room, Walton suddenly pinned her to the bed, placing his hip and legs over here body. He then began forcing kisses on her neck, face and chest. She claims she screamed for him to stop and tried to free herself, but he held her down, groped her breast and groin, and rubbed his erection on her leg. He eventually relented and let her get up from the bed. As she was walking toward the door he grabbed her from behind and forced his body against hers. Luke finally released his grasp and as she left, he could hear him say, “Good to see you.” (Paraphrased from TMZ.com, who broke the story.)
Luke is no longer in Los Angeles, which could be the reason this is all coming out now. Being the head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, Luke would have to be around, and work with the media everyday. This would mean that Kelli would have to see and work with him everyday as well. The documents report that Luke continually made Kelli uncomfortable, by making vulgar and suggestive actions towards her after their incident. With Luke Walton now in Sacramento, Kelli might feel that now is her time to tell her story. But what does that mean for Luke. As the head coach of a new group of young talented players, it is up to Luke to set a good example. Show them how to become leaders, and handle all situations the right way. Everyone always says to make a good first impression. Luke hasn’t done a great job with that so far. Things need to change soon, before they get worse.