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Kings start hiring assistants for Luke Walton after 5 weeks of investigating assault allegations

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Five weeks after the Sacramento Kings announced they were “gathering information” about a female reporter’s sexual assault claim against Luke Walton, it looks like the team is proceeding forward with its new head coach.

The Kings have hired Oklahoma City Thunder assistant Bob Beyer, Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jesse Mermuys and former Team Canada head coach Roy Rana to Walton’s coaching staff, according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick. Player development coach Bobby Jackson will also be retained on Walton’s staff.

Amick had previously reported the Kings were proceeding forward with Walton, but it obviously took a while to bring the top group of assistants together.

It’s hard to imagine the Kings waited more than a month to hire their top assistant coaches for any reason other than waiting to see what could come out of the allegations against Walton.

For reference, Jason Kidd was simultaneously reported as a new Lakers assistant with head coach Frank Vogel, and it took less than a week for J.B. Bickerstaff to join John Beilein’s staff in Cleveland. Coaches don’t like to wait to add top assistants.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 01: Head coach Luke Walton of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on while sitting next to assistant coaches Brian Shaw (left) and Jesse Mermuys (right) during the game against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on November 1, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Pacers defeated the Lakers 115-108. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using the photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Jesse Mermuys (right) is one of three coaches joining Luke Walton in Sacramento. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

For now, it looks like the Kings are proceeding forward with Walton. The former Lakers head coach was accused by Los Angeles reporter Kelli Tennant of grabbing her, holding her down and kissing her against her will in a Santa Monica hotel room in 2014 when he was an assistant with the Golden State Warriors, as well as routinely making her uncomfortable in their workplace.

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