NBA, Kings clear Walton of sexual assault, citing insufficient evidence
Michael Reaves / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Warning: Story contains sensitive content

Investigators working on behalf of the Sacramento Kings and the NBA determined there was "not a sufficient basis" to support allegations that Kings head coach Luke Walton sexually assaulted Kelli Tennant, the team announced in a statement on Friday.

According to the statement, investigators attempted to interview Tennant - a former Spectrum SportsNet reporter who filed a civil suit against Walton in April - but she declined. The NBA and the Kings added that the investigation is now closed "unless new evidence becomes available."

In her lawsuit, Tennant said Walton sexually assaulted her in a hotel room in Santa Monica, Calif., while he was an assistant coach with the Warriors.

No date was specified, although Walton was first employed by the Warriors in 2014 and remained an assistant there until becoming the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers in April 2016.

Tennant's suit states that she met Walton at his hotel room in order to give him a copy of her book, which had been recently released and for which Walton had written a foreword. In a press conference days after filing the suit, she said Walton suddenly groped her against her will and refused to let her leave.

"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 while he kissed my neck and my face and my chest," she said, as relayed by CBS Los Angeles. "And as I kept asking him to please stop and to get off, he laughed at me.

"I continued to ask him to stop over and over again without any use of my arms because he continued to hold me down. I could feel him rubbing his erection on me and he continued to laugh at all of my pleas to get off and to stop. I thought he was going to rape me."

Following Tennant's news conference, Walton denied her claims through his attorney, Mark Baute. The Kings and the league launched their joint investigation shortly after.

Walton responded to the findings of the investigation on Friday with a brief statement.

"I am 100 percent focused on coaching the Sacramento Kings, and energized to work with this incredible group of players and coaches as we start the preseason. I will have no further comment," he said, according to The Athletic's Sam Amick.

NBA, Kings clear Walton of sexual assault, citing insufficient evidence
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Daily Newsletter
Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox