The Kings play defense and beat the Bulls 98-81 on Friday in Chicago

By Charlie O. Mallonee @Charlieo1320

The long national nightmare is over for “Sacramento Proud” as their team’s six-game losing streak has come to an end in Chicago. The Kings (16-29) downed the Bulls 98-81 on Friday night at the United Center.

The last time the Kings won a basketball game was on January 7th in Phoenix. Those 16 days between wins seemed like an eternity for Sacramento fans.

A major change to the starting lineup

Sometimes a coach must shake things up to in order to get his team’s attention. In this case, Kings head coach – Luke Walton – made a change to his starting lineup. Guard Buddy Hield has been in a shooting slump, so Walton took Hield out of the starting rotation and replaced him with Bogdan Bogdanovic who has been the Kings sixth man all season.

Moving a starter to the bench is always dangerous because a coach never knows how the player will react. In this case, the lineup moves worked.

Hield took the change in stride

In reality, Hield did more than take things in stride – he thrived. Hield led the Kings in scoring by putting up 21 points in the game. He shot 7-for-12 overall and hit 5 of 9 from behind the 3-point line. Hield also grabbed eight rebounds.

After the game, Kings head coach Luke Walton was full of praise for Hield for his play and his reaction to his change in the rotation.

The key to the win was defense

This was the second game this season that the Kings held their opponent to under 90 points. The Kings are 2-0 in those games.

Sacramento held Chicago to just 39.2% (31-for-79) shooting overall and the Bulls hit only 8 of 37 (21.6%) from 3-point range.

The Kings caused the Bulls (17-30) to turn the ball over 21 times which resulted in 16 Sacramento points.

The Bulls largest lead of the game was three points.

Top performers

Leading scorers

  • Buddy Hield was the Kings leading scorer with 21 points
  • Zach LaVine led the Bulls scoring attack with 21 points

The Glass cleaners

  • Cristiano Felicio of the Bulls was the game’s leading rebounder with nine
  • Buddy Hield led the Kings with eight rebounds

Dropping dimes

  • De’Aaron Fox was the game’s assist leader with seven dimes
  • Kris Dunn led the Bulls with six assists

Up next

The Kings travel to the Twin Cities where they will play the Timberwolves on Monday night.

The Bulls will play in Cleveland on Saturday night.

 

 

 

Kings get over the Warriors 100-79

By Charlie O. Mallonee @Charlieo1320

After losing to the NBA’s worst team — the New York Knicks — on their home court on Friday night, the Sacramento Kings (12-14) needed to bounce back into the win column in a big way versus the Golden State Warriors (5-23) on Sunday night in the brand-new Chase Center in San Francisco. After years of being the perpetual underdogs when facing the Warriors, the 2019 Kings knew they were the more talented team going into the game on Sunday evening.

The Kings dominated the first quarter shooting 62.5% from the field while outscoring the Warriors 26-18. It appeared that injury-depleted Warriors were well on their way to another humbling defeat at the hands of their Northern California neighbor.

The Warriors woke up in the second quarter
Golden State started attacking the basket using the dribble-drive to make layups and cut into the Kings lead. D’Angelo Russell (who may or may not be a Warrior much longer) and Damion Lee did most of the damage in the quarter. The Warriors outscored the Kings 16-8 in the paint.

Both teams shot 9-for-16 from the field in the second period. Sacramento held a 16-point lead at one point in the quarter, but Golden State trailed by just nine points at the half.

The Kings changed the story in the second half
Sacramento came out in the third quarter and shot 64.7% overall and 60.0% from 3-point range to outscore Golden State 28-17. The Kings were up 79-59 at the end of 36 minutes and had the game well in hand.

Luke Walton used 11 players in the game rather than just eight as he had in the previous games. A big lead will give a coach that luxury. The Kings outscored the Warriors in the final quarter 21-20. It was like the kid who has been bullied for years finally had the opportunity to get even and they did.

When the final buzzer sounded, the Kings had beaten the Warriors 100-79.

Lead tracker
The Kings biggest lead in the game was 25 points. The Warriors largest lead was just three points.

The game was tied four times.

The lead changed four times in the game.

The Kings never trailed in the second, third and fourth quarters.

Team Numbers

  • Points in the Paint: SAC 46 GSW 44
  • 2nd Chance Points: Kings 6 Warriors 5
  • Fastbreak Points: SAC 10 GSW 4
  • Rebounds: Kings 38 Warriors 26
  • Assists: SAC 27 GSW 24
  • Turnovers: Kings 27 Warriors 20
  • Field Goal %: SAC 60.3% GSW 39.0%

Leading Scorers

  • Bogdan Bogdanovic was the games high scorer with 25 points
  • Former King Willie Cauley-Stein led the Warriors with 14 points

The Glass Cleaners

  • Marvin Bagley III led the Kings with six rebounds
  • Marquese Chriss was the Warriors leading rebounder with six

Distributing Dimes

  • D’Angelo Russell was the assist leader with eight
  • Cory Joseph was the Kings assist leader with five dimes

Up Next
The Kings travel to Charlotte to take on the Hornets on Tuesday night.

The Warriors also hit the road to play the Trail Blazers in Portland on Wednesday evening.

Kings win again, downing Portland 107-99 on Tuesday night

SAC 11-12

By Charlie O. Mallonee

SACRAMENTOOn Tuesday night, the Kings played their first game since learning that star point guard De’Aaron Fox was going to be unavailable to the team for an extended period of time. Fox suffered a Grade 3 ankle sprain, which usually implies ligament damage, at the end of practice on Monday. Fox is currently on crutches and will be re-evaluated in four weeks. How long Fox will be gone has yet to be determined.

NBA observers immediately predicted “doom and gloom”

The national experts who cover the NBA almost immediately declared that the injury to Fox ended any chance the Kings had of making a playoff run this season. The team had stumbled out of the starting gate losing their first five games but seemed to be putting things together after going 2-1 on their first road trip to the East Coast.

“Those in the know” felt that the team would not be able to overcome the loss of Fox who is their uptempo playmaker. Fox is also a key scorer for the team when they need a boost on the scoreboard.

Tuesday night the Kings had to face the Portland Trail Blazers in their first test without Fox on the floor. Sacramento had lost to the Blazers 122-112 at home in the second of the season.

Portland tried to take control in the first half

The Trail Blazers came out in the first quarter shooting 50% from the floor and 33% from 3-point range. The Kings really struggled as they shot just 34.6% from the field and a miserable 16.7% from downtown. What kept Sacramento in the game was their volume of shots.

Portland hit 9 of 18 shots in the opening period while the Kings put in 9 of 26 attempts from the field. The Blazers held just a 24-21 lead when the first quarter came to a close.

The Kings’ shooting and defense improved in the second quarter, and they matched the Blazers in almost every statistical category. Portland was up by only three points, 49-46, at the half.

Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts said after the game: “Sacramento didn’t shoot the ball particularly well – neither team shot the ball well in the first half. I felt like we should have had a bigger lead at halftime.”

Could the Kings overcome their Third Quarter nemesis?

The Kings have experienced difficulty in the third quarter in the majority of their games so far this season. They have had a tendency to start the period slowly and then watch their opponents put them in a position where they have to play catch up in the fourth quarter.

That did not happen on Tuesday night. Sacramento outscored Portland 35-21 in the third period. They accomplished that by shooting an outstanding 57.9% (11-for-19) overall and sinking 2 of 5 (40%) from long range. They also converted 11 of 13 opportunities from free throw line.

At the end of 36 minutes of play, Sacramento led Portland 81-70.

Portland Head Coach Terry Stotts: “They got off to a good start in the third quarter and built a lead and we really couldn’t recover from that initial burst at the start of the third quarter.”

Portland did not give up in the fourth

The Blazers outscored the Kings 29-26 in the final 12 minutes and cut the Sacramento lead down to five points with 2:51 to go in the game. Bjelica hit a 26-foot, 3-point shot to give his team an eight-point lead. The Kings would go on to win the game 107-99.

The Kings record improves to 4-6 and they have now won 4 of their last 5 games. Portland’s record drops to 4-7 on the young season.

After the game, Luke Walton wanted to talk “D”

“I want to talk about our defense. It’s been what we’ve been preaching about every day since day one of training camp and I’m the first to admit, it needs to get a lot better. But that’s why – not only tonight but I feel like slowly even if our numbers haven’t showed it, guys are starting to understand and really make steps as far as individual defense and team defense. Tonight, we started the game, we couldn’t make anything – great shooters, wide-open shots – and that’s why defense is important.”

Focus on the Kings

  • Bogdan Bogdanovic was the Kings top scorer. He came off the bench to score 25 points and dish out 10 assists. “Bogi” scored 25 of the Kings 36 bench points.
  • Buddy Hield added 20 points in 37 minutes of playing time. Hield did not have a great night shooting just 7-for-21, but he hit big shots when they were needed.
  • Nemanja Bjelica recorded a double-double scoring 19 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

Blazers top performers

  • To no one’s surprise, Damian Lillard scored a game-high 27 points. “Dame” went 13-for-14 from the free throw line. He also played almost 38 minutes. He is truly an incredible player.
  • CJ McCollum added 24 points shooting a very nice 11-for-21 from the floor.
  • Hassan Whiteside had another nice game against the Kings as he put up 17 points and hauled in seven rebounds.

Up next

The Kings will be off until Friday night when they will face the Lakers at Staples Center in LA.

The Blazers head home for the back end of a back-to-back with the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

Kings down the Knicks 113-92 in the Garden

NYC Fox
Fox to the bucket Photo: @SacramentoKings

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings took the opportunity to build off their first win on Friday night to put victory number two in the book by crushing the New York Knicks 113-92 on Sunday night in the Garden. Teams traveling to the East Coast from the West can sometimes suffer from fatigue and time disorientation in their first game of a road trip. That did not happen on Sunday night.

Fast start in Manhattan
The lead changed hands three times in the first quarter of the game. The third lead change came with 7:51 to go in the period. The Kings took a 10-9 lead off a Harrison Barnes finger-roll layup. Sacramento would never trail again in the game.

The Kings shot 52.2% from the floor in the first quarter and put in 5 of 12 attempts from behind the 3-point arc. When the buzzer sounded after the first 12-minutes were over, Sacramento held a 32-23 lead over the home team.

No let-up in the 2nd quarter
The Kings kept the pressure on the Knicks in the second period by continuing to shoot well and by playing tenacious defense. Sacramento made good on 11 of their 19 Field Goal Attempts (57.9%), hit 3 of 6 (50.0%) from downtown and went a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.

The Kings defense held the Knicks to just 28.6% (6-for-21) shooting and limited New York to just 2 of 10 from 3-point range.

The Kings held a 61-41 lead at the half.

What would happen in the third quarter?
The Kings had not outscored an opponent in the third quarter of any of their previous six games. That had led to their demise in every contest except on Friday night versus Utah.

That all changed on Sunday night in NYC. The Kings outscored the Knicks 29-23 and broke the third quarter curse that seemed like it would never go away.

Again, it was a combination of good shooting and a strong defense that did the in the job for the Kings. One example of the defense is the fact New York went 0-for-7 from “downtown” in the period. Sacramento was up 90-64 after 36 minutes of play.

The Knicks didn’t roll over and play dead
Every player in the NBA is a proud professional. They all want to win and every one of them hates to lose. The Knicks tried to make the game competitive in the last period.

Kings head coach Luke Walton had to leave his starters in for over half the quarter because the pesky Knicks would not go away. It was a tremendous “chase-down” block that ended the New York comeback run.

The Kings won their second game of the season 113-92. Sacramento is 2-5 while New York drops to 1-6 on the young campaign.

Postgame thoughts
Kings head coach Luke Walton had a number of thoughts after the win:

  • Walton said he told his team this game would set the tone for the road trip.
  • He said the key to the victory was the reduced number of turnovers and competition for rebounds. The Kings turned the ball over just 13 times and outrebounded New York 49-39.
  • Walton was happy that his team won the 3rd quarter but emphasized the team did not talk about the problem during halftime of the last two games – both victories.
  • He also mentioned a sitdown that he and De’Aaron Fox had on the plane just to review video clips and plays. Fox scored a team-high 24 points and dished out six assists in the win. That was some productive coach-player time.
  • When asked by a New York reporter about the playoffs, Walton replied that he’s not worried about the playoffs. He said he is interested in getting better every day.

Top performances

  • All of the Kings starting five scored in double figures.
  • Richaun Holmes had another double-double game scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds (four off the offensive glass).
  • Buddy Hield found the bucket again. He put 22 points in the book shooting 8-for-16 overall and hitting 5 of 11 from long range.
  • Harrison Barnes enjoyed his night in the Garden putting up 19 points.
  • Nemanja Bjelica recorded 10 points, made eight rebounds and distributed six assists in his 24-minutes on the floor.
  • The Knicks were led by Marcus Morris Sr. with a game-high 28 points and rookie RJ Barrett who added 22 points in 40-plus minutes of playing time.

Up next
The Kings head up “North” to face the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night. The Raptors will be much tougher competition, but the Kings have won in Exposition City before.

The Knicks will also return to action on Wednesday night when they travel to Detroit.

Winless Kings are blown out in Utah 113-81

Jazz kings final
Graphic: @NBCBA

by Charlie O. Mallonee

“That was embarassing,” said Kings Head Coach Luke Walton after his team was blown out by the Utah Jazz 113-81 on Saturday night. Walton was not blaming just his players. He was blaming himself and his coaching staff as well. The poor performance the team has shown in its 0-3 start to the season has the entire organization on edge.

To say that no one saw this coming is a total understatement. The Kings were projected to be one of the teams fighting for the eighth playoff slot in the NBA Western Division. Right now, fans are asking when will the Kings win their first game of the season.

This game was over by halftime

The Kings trailed the Jazz 35-25 after the first 12 minutes were in the book. Then came the disastrous second period. Utah outscored Sacramento 31-16.

The Kings put in just 5 of 15 field goal attempts (33.3%) in the second quarter while the Jazz was shooting at 57.1% clip. Sacramento had no Fast Break Points in the first half. It was just ugly.

The teams went to the locker rooms with the Jazz leading the Kings 66-41.

Hey, it was the back end of a back-to-back

Yes, the Kings were playing the second game of a back-to-back set on the road which means the odds were not in their favor. However, the Jazz (2-1) lost to the Lakers on the road on Friday night 95-86, so they were on the second game of a back-to-back as well.

Back-to-back games on the road are tough to win, but that is no excuse for the poor performance the Kings showed on Saturday night.

All Sacramento starters report to the bench

With 8:39 to go in the third quarter, Luke Walton pulled his starters off the floor. It was a coach waving the white flag. He took the opportunity to put in his reserves and get them some valuable playing time.

Utah top performers

  • Bojan Bogdanovic scored a game-high 26 points in just over 24 minutes on the floor. He hit 10 of 18 shots from the floor including five 3-pointers.
  • Donovan Mitchell added 15 points. He went a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the 3-point line.
  • Mike Conley and Georges Niang scored 12 points each.
  • As a team, the Jazz shot 56.4 % from the floor and 48.6% from downtown. They outrebounded the Kings 43-31.

Kings in the spotlight

  • Dewayne Dedmon led the Kings in scoring with 11 points. He also added six rebounds.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic put up 10 points and dished out two assists.
  • De’Aaron Fox scored nine points and distributed five dimes.
  • The Kings shot just 37% from the field.

Up next

The Kings will have Sunday off and will return to play on Monday night when they will host the 2-0 Denver Nuggets at the Golden 1 Center.

The Jazz will travel to Phoenix to take on the Suns on Monday evening.

 

 

 

 

NBA Basketball in Mumbai: Pacers beat Kings 132-132 in OT

Mumbai final
Photo/Graphic: NBC Sports California

The NBA goes to Bollywood!

By Charlie O @Charlieo1320

The first-ever NBA game was played in Mumbai, India on Friday night between the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings. Well, it was Friday night if you were in Mumbai. If you were in Sacramento, the game tipped off at 6:30 AM, so it was bagels and basketball.

The Game

Much to the chagrin of the coaches and to the delight of the crowd, the game required overtime. The Pacers prevailed in OT 132-131. The Kings’ Buddy Hield put up a long 3-point shot that had a realistic chance of going in, but bounced high off the rim and was put back in by Marvin Bagley for two points at the buzzer. Sacramento fell one point short of causing double overtime.

To say that the players were “gassed” would be a gross understatement. All five of the Indiana starters and three of the Sacramento starting five played 30-minutes or more. Rest assured that neither Nate McMillan nor Luke Walton planned to play any of their players for that long in the first preseason game.

Key Numbers

T.J. Warren — who was traded the Pacers by the Suns in the off-season — was the game’s leading scorer with 30 points. He hit 11-of-18 from the floor and was 5-of-6 from behind the 3-point line.

Domantas Sabonis recorded a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds. He made six rebounds on offense and six on defense.

Point Guard Malcolm Brogdon also had a double-double game with 15 points and 14 assists.

Buddy Hield led the Kings’ scoring attack with 28 points. He shot 11-for-20 from the field and converted 4-of-10 from downtown.

Harrison Barnes — fresh off his time with Team USA — put 21 points in the book. Barnes went a perfect 11-for-11 from the free-throw line.

De’Aaron Fox added 15 points and dished out eight assists.

Numbers for concern

Luke Walton cannot be happy that his team was outrebounded 47-30. The Pacers scored 21 second chance points to the Kings’ seven. That is not a winning formula in the NBA.

Nate McMillan will be talking to his team about turnovers. The Pacers turned the ball over 25 times in the contest, which resulted in 25 Sacramento points.

Why India?

The NBA really sees itself as being a worldwide game and marketing force. The league’s goal is to literally market itself around the globe. With a population of over 1.3 billion people, India is a market that cannot be ignored.

Here are a few other facts:

  • More than 3 million fans in India follow the NBA on Facebook.
  • Over 300 live NBA games are available to viewers in India each season. In fact, fans in Sacramento often welcome Indian viewers just before tipoff.
  • The NBA opened an office in Mumbai in 2012 — one of 12 NBA offices outside the USA.
  • The NBA Academy India was opened in 2017 in Delhi to help develop top male and female basketball prospects.

The other reason India is a key target for the association is Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive is originally from Mumbai. It has been his dream to bring the game to his country of origin.

“This is a historic day, but for me it’s a dream come true. I left Bombay (Mumbai) when I was 17 years old and literally I had $50 in my pocket, so to come back here with my NBA team and also bring my friend Herb Simon with his team and to play an actual NBA game is beyond my wildest, wildest imagination,” explained Ranadive.

Ranadive has a vision for the future, “What I see happening is that within the next 10 years, this game, it’ll never surpass cricket as the national pastime, but it’ll be right up there. And hopefully, Commissioner, we can launch a league right here in India. I hope in the next 10 years that we’ll have at least one player that comes out of the system that plays in the NBA. We already see players. And I fully expect that there will be arenas that spring up across the country where we can play these games.”

More from Mumbai tomorrow

The Kings and Pacers will play one more preseason game on Saturday night in Mumbai. The tipoff time in Indiana is 8:30 AM and in Sacramento it is 6:30 AM. If you call yourself a real NBA fan, it is breakfast and basketball tomorrow morning.

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: World Cup–US Women no match for Thailand in 13-0 blowout; Kings to host Summer League at Golden 1; plus more

Photo credit: @BostonGlobe

On the Headline Sports podcast with London:

#1 In the World Cup, US Women downed Thailand 13-0, Alex Morgan scored five goals and there was no mercy rule as the US Women kept pouring it on in Reims, France. The US took it to Thailand right from the kickoff.

#2 The win by the US topped the old record when Germany took it to Argentina in an 11-0 win in the 2007 World Cup.

#3 The Sacramento Kings will be hosting a California Classic Summer League at Golden 1 Center from July 1st through 3rd. Fans will get to take a look at the following teams: the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings.

#4 With the Summer League coming up, where does Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton stand? He has been accused of sexual assault. His accuser is also holding the Warriors and Lakers legally responsible for the attacks. Is the Luke Walton case going to be a distraction or can Luke guide the Kings and get past it?

#5 The San Jose Earthquakes won a friendly 4-3 over Sacramento Republic FC on Tuesday night at Avaya Stadium. Earthquakes star Chris Wondolowski said that the team is in a zone a winning mental state right now, and even though it was like a preseason game, the Quakes are pushing to win and won’t take any prisoners right now.

#6 Former San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence hit another one off the fence for the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night against the Red Sox. Pence chalked up his 14th home run for an inside-the-park home run against the Boston Red Sox. Pence has been in the zone this season. He’s also got the Rangers clubhouse pretty loose right now.

London Marq does Headline Sports each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: Kings staying with Walton until evidence proves otherwise; Do you believe in miracles? Could Sharks pull off a second round win?

Photo credit: @NBCSKings

On the Headline Sports podcast with London:

#1 Kelli Tennant says that she is not seeking jail time or a certain amount of money from the lawsuit she filed against Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton, but wanted to share what had been weighing on her mind since she said that Walton sexually assaulted her in April 2015 when he was an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors.

#2 Tennant spoke to the media in a press conference on Tuesday to tell her side of the story that Walton had invited her to his hotel room to read over some material from the book “The Transition: Every Athlete’s Guide to Life After Sports”. It was in his room she said she was sexually assaulted. In the press conference and after listening to what Tennant said about the assault, will this change the way people view Luke Walton now?

#3 The San Jose Sharks, who were down 3-1 in their last series with the Vegas Golden Knights, found a way to get off the mat and win three straight to advance to the second round.

#4 The Sharks had to come back with four goals in the third goal just to tie the game up, which they did 4-4, but they also had to skate an extra overtime stanza to score a winning goal to win the game so that’s virtually four unanswered goals to come back and win Game 7.

#5 Coming off a dramatic win like the first round the Sharks now open up the second round against the Colorado Avalanche, do you see them coming in with a lot momentum and having a great chance to even win the next round?

London Marq does Headline Sports each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

Sexual assault allegations of Luke Walton puts Kings in damage control

Photo credit: tmz.com

By: Ana Kieu

TMZ Sports first reported female sports reporter Kelli Tennant’s lawsuit against current Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton on Monday night. Sure, it may seem like just another headline among the tabloids, but sexual assault isn’t a joke, it’s a serious issue that has to be addressed in the general public. Some accusations may not be true, but about this accusation, we’ll have to wait and see if it turns out to be true.

Walton was hired by the Kings on April 14th. That, my friends, was only eight days ago. Before joining the Kings, Walton served as the Los Angeles Lakers head coach from 2016-19, Golden State Warriors assistant coach from 2014-16, Los Angeles D-Fenders player development coach from 2013-14 and Memphis Tigers assistant coach in 2011. Walton played in the NBA from 2003-13 after being a second-round draft pick at the 2003 NBA Draft. Walton played NCAA basketball at Arizona from 1999-2003.

Kelli Tennant is a host for the Ceremony Wellness podcast and a sports reporter who has worked for ESPN, PAC12, E! News, Fox Sports, Spectrum Sportsnet, and SportsNet LA. Tennant is a Temecula, Calif. native whose alma mater is the University of Southern California. Tennant played NCAA volleyball at USC for two seasons.

According to TMZ, Kelli Tennant claimed that before Walton became the Lakers head coach, he asked her to meet him at his Santa Monica hotel to discuss a book she was writing. She says they had a business relationship for several years and she wanted him to write a foreword.

In the suit, Tennant said when she arrived at Walton’s hotel, he convinced her to come up to his room so they could discuss the book. She claims when they got up to his room, Walton suddenly pinned her to the bed, placing his hips and legs over her body.

In the docs, Tennant claimed Walton began forcing kisses on her neck, face and chest. She claimed she screamed for him to stop and tried to free herself, but he held her down, groped her breasts and groin, and rubbed his erection on her leg.

Tennant says he eventually relented and let her get up from the bed, but as she was walking towards the door to leave, he grabbed her from behind and forced his body up against hers.

Tennant claimed when Walton finally released his grasp, she opened the door and left, but could hear him say, “Good to see you.”

Tennant claimed she did not initially report Walton’s conduct, but was forced to continually interact with him because of her job. She saied each time she saw him, he’d impose himself on her with a big hug or a kiss, even though she thought she made it clear his advances were unwanted.

In the suit, Tennant claimed on one occasion, Walton greeted her by uttering, “vulgar, guttural sounds at her” and said, “Mmmm…you’re killing me in that dress.” She says he then forced an aggressive hug on her and rubbed his body against hers.

While it’s unclear what exactly promoted Tennant to come forward, I can reassure you that the Kings are in damage control mode right now. Walton hasn’t released a statement, and it’s unclear if he’ll comment on anything. The Kings haven’t commented on the matter either. Sam Amick of The Athletic tweeted, “The Kings have issued a statement regarding sexual assault allegations against their new coach, Luke Walton, as reported by TMZ. We are aware of the report and are gathering additional information. We have no further comment at this time.”

Reports: Kings hire Luke Walton to be their next coach

luke walton - le bron

by Charlie O. Mallonee

To no one’s surprise, Sam Amick of theathletic.com reported earlier today that the Sacramento Kings had reached an agreement in principle with Luke Walton to become the next head coach of the team replacing Dave Joerger. Most reporters and analysts were speculating that Vlade Divac wanted Walton even before he parted ways with the Lakers.

There is no reason to doubt Amick’s reports. He has covered the Kings for years and has the respect of the front office. Amick is not a reporter who bites on the first shiny object in the water. If he did not feel there was real credence to the information he received, Amick would not have reported it.

The move also makes sense because the Kings reportedly tried to lure Walton to become their head coach before they hired Dave Joerger. Walton did not become a candidate for the Sacramento job at that time because the Lakers were pursuing him at the same time.

Walton will have Vlade’s trust

Walton and Divac were Lakers teammates in 2004-05 which was Divac’s final year as a player. They know each other well which is important to Divac who seems to very comfortable having an inner circle that is very familiar to him.

That can also be a detriment. One of the roles Walton may be able to play is to urge Divac to open up and expand the Kings front office to bring in more experienced executives to assist him in running the operation.

Because Walton will have an instant credibility factor with Divac, he will probably be included in making personnel decisions where Joerger was never included in that part of the operation. We know that because Joerger made no secret about his lack of involvement in personnel decisions.

Walton also is from the Steve Kerr coaching tree

luke walton

Walton is known for the incredible job he did filling in Steve Kerr when he was out due to medical issues. Walton led Golden State to a 39-4 record until Kerr was able to return to the bench.

Walton got off to a solid start with the Lakers in his first year as head coach, but ran into a firestorm when LeBron James joined the team in his second season the head man. LeBron not only cost Walton his job, but convinced Magic Johnson to bail out as President of Basketball Pperations. James manages to suck the air out of any team that he is a part of as a player, de facto coach, and de facto general manager.

Walton has his work cut out for himself

Walton has some strong returning players in De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Marvin Bagley III, and Harry Giles III. Will Harrison Barnes invoke his $25-million option? Should the Kings resign or match offers for Willie Cauley-Stein? Who should the team pursue in free agency?

Sacramento finished nine games out the playoffs this season. It will be no easy task to break into the playoff tournament next season, but Walton will have four years to make this team a success.

Walton will be a different personality

luke

Where Joerger was an introverted, close to the vest personality, Walton will an open, upfront star in front of the cameras. He will be a PR star for the Kings. That will be of help on an on-going basis. It will be something they haven’t had in long. long time. The fans and media will love it.