Kings

Kelli Tennant, lawyer publicly allege Luke Walton sexually assaulted her

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USATSI

Kelli Tennant, lawyer publicly allege Luke Walton sexually assaulted her

Sports broadcaster Kelli Tennant, one day after filing a lawsuit alleging Luke Walton sexually assaulted her in 2014, sat alongside attorney Garo Mardirossian on Tuesday afternoon and held a press conference to further state her allegations against the Sacramento Kings coach.

“I am no longer comfortable being silent about the things that have happened to me," Tennant told an assembly of reporters in Los Angeles, "and although this may come as a shock to many of you in this community, this is a reality that I have been living in for years, and I can no longer stand to not tell the story of what has profoundly affected my life in all of the events that we have alleged in our complaint."

According to Tennant, she has known Walton and his wife, Bre Ladd, for many years through ties with volleyball. In 2013, Tennant and Walton became colleagues at Spectrum SportsNet and developed a friendship. She also looked to him as a mentor.

Tennant was writing a book and asked Walton to write the foreword for her, which he agreed to do. They met and worked together on the book, and when she eventually published it, she wanted to give him a copy of the finished work. 

Tennant alleges the two agreed to meet up at his hotel in 2014, when Walton was in town to face the Lakers as part of the Warriors' coaching staff. But when she arrived at the hotel to give him a copy of the book, Walton told her that he didn’t want to hang out in the lobby because the players were around.

He then brought her up to his room, where Tennant claims an aggressive attack occurred.

“Out of nowhere, he got on top of me and pinned me down to the bed and held my arms down with all of his weight,” Tennant said. “He kissed my neck and my face and my chest. As I kept asking him to please stop and get off, he laughed at me.”

After the initial encounter, Walton allegedly grabbed her a second time from behind and started kissing Tennant’s neck. 

“I thought he was going to rape me,” Tennant said.

During the press conference, Tennant explained how she eventually was able to leave the hotel room, but that wasn’t the last encounter she had with Walton. 

Walton joined the Lakers as head coach in 2016, which resulted in Tennant working with him on a daily basis. According to Tennant, Walton was inappropriate with her on multiple occasions, including unwanted hugs and kisses.

“Every interaction with him that I had over that time made me incredibly uncomfortable and feel unsafe,” Tennant said.

Their last encounter was at a charity event in 2017, when Walton allegedly made a comment about her dress, followed by an uncomfortable hug. 

“Every feeling I had from that first experience of feeling disgusted and betrayed, came back,” Tennant said.

According to Tennant, she had been working for Spectrum SportsNet for just under one year when the initial incident occurred with Walton at his hotel. She was 25 years old at the time and feared for her job.

“I was scared,” Tennant said. “When someone assaults you and you think you’re going to be raped, coming forward is a scary thing. I have spent years now dealing with this. Trying to forget about it. Hoping I could push it to the side and bury it, and hoping that time would heal. That was not the case.”

According to Mardirossian, they haven’t taken the case to law enforcement, and outside of Tennant’s account, they have no other further evidence to support the claim. Tennant told family members of the event but did not discuss it with anyone in human resources at Spectrum or with either the Warriors or the Lakers.

The Kings, who hired Walton as their coach last week, have not released anything other than their initial statement, “We are aware of the report and are gathering additional information. We have no further comment at this time.”

The NBA added this statement, per multiple reports: “We are coordinating with the Kings organization and are in the process of gathering more information.”

According to league sources, Kings general manager Vlade Divac did not know of pending allegations when he signed the 39-year-old coach to a four-year contract. 

Source: Buddy Hield, Kings agree to four-year, $86M contract extension

Source: Buddy Hield, Kings agree to four-year, $86M contract extension

SACRAMENTO -- Vlade Divac just bet on his young core.

NBC Sports California has confirmed through an NBA source that the Kings and shooting guard Buddy Hield agreed to a new four-year, $86 million contract extension Monday, just hours before the NBA deadline for rookie extensions. Hield can earn an extra $20 million through incentives.

The Athletic's Sam Amick first reported the news.

According to a league source, the four-year deal has a starting salary of $24 million for the 2020-21 season, but declines by eight percent per year. He'll make $22 million in Year 2, $20.3 million in Year 3 and $18.7 million in the final year, which accounts for just 13.5 percent of the projected salary cap.

In addition to the guraunteed money, Hield has up to $20 million in incentives over the course of the deal that are tied to both players and team objectives, including All-Star and playoff appearances.

While the negotiations spilled out into the press over the last week, the two sides still were able to sit down at the table and come to an agreement in time for the start of the 2019-20 regular season.

Hield is the first of four core pieces to come up for an extension for the Kings over the next 24 months, but his shooting ability helps open the spacing on the floor for the team’s up-tempo offense.

Hield took a huge step forward in his third NBA season, leading the Kings in scoring at 20.7 points per game while making a franchise-record 278 3-point attempts.

Hield will play out the final season of his rookie-scale contract this season. He’ll make $4.9 million during 2019-20, before seeing a massive spike in his salary during the 2020-21 campaign.

With Hield locked up, the Kings can shift their focus to the upcoming season where the franchise is attempting to snap a 13-year playoff drought.

The Kings have a standing extension offer for third-year shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic as well, but he has until June 30 to make a decision on whether to sign the deal or head into free agency next summer.

Point guard De’Aaron Fox also is eligible for an extension in the summer of 2020. The 21-year-old slasher likely is looking at a five-year designated player max extension. Second-year big man Marvin Bagley is eligible for a similar extension during the 2021 summer.

Programming Note: Get ready for the 2019-20 Warriors and Kings seasons with the NBA Tip-Off Show, streaming live on the MyTeams app at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Download MyTeams and tune in to the show by clicking here!

Kings set regular-season roster by waiving Tyler Ulis, Hollis Thompson

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Kings set regular-season roster by waiving Tyler Ulis, Hollis Thompson

SACRAMENTO -- The drama is over and the Kings’ roster is now set at 15, along with a pair of two-way players.

According to the team, both Tyler Ulis and Hollis Thompson have been waived, bring the team’s roster down to the league maximum before the Oct. 21 2 p.m. PST deadline.

After a promising start to his career with the Phoenix Suns, Ulis struggled with hip injuries last season and then spent most of training camp on the sidelines with a groin injury.

The Kings are hoping he can get his career back on the right track and barring a waiver claim, they expect the 23-year-old point guard to join the team’s G League affiliate in Stockton.

The former Kentucky product has averaged 7.5 points, 4.0 assists, 0.9 steals and 20.9 minutes per game in 133 career games over three seasons with the Suns and Bulls.

Thompson was a late add to the roster. He played for the Kings during the California Classic, and like Ulis, he is likely headed to Stockton for the upcoming season.

The 28-year-old forward has seen action in 265 NBA games over his career, posting 7.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in over 6400 minutes of action. His G League rights were acquired by Stockton for a first-round selection over the summer.

A surprise addition to the roster is Tyler Lydon. The 6-foot-10 forward has played in just 25 NBA games since being selected with the 24th overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft. He was limited in camp due to a hip injury and played just one eight minute stretch for the team.

The former Syracuse Orangeman spent time in the G League in each of the last two seasons and is likely headed to Stockton once he’s healthy.

General manager Vlade Divac has until Monday to finalize the roster, but here is how it looks as of Sunday afternoon.

[RELATED: How Siakam contract impacts Hield]

Unofficial 2019-20 Sacramento Kings roster:

De'Aaron Fox
Cory Joseph
Yogi Ferrell
Buddy Hield
Bogdan Bogdanovic
Justin James
Harrison Barnes
Trevor Ariza
Marvin Bagley
Nemanja Bjelica
Tyler Lydon
Dewayne Dedmon
Richaun Holmes
Harry Giles
Caleb Swanigan

Two-Way Players

Wenyen Gabriel
Kyle Guy