Shortly after his “kill yourself” comments went viral on Twitter, Derrick Rose apologized, saying he didn’t mean it literally.
“I messed up by using the slang term ‘kill yourself’ today in response to a question about whether I can continue to perform without coach Thibs,” Rose wrote on Twitter. “I did not mean it literally and regret using it so I apologize.”
Rose was referring to the comments he made earlier Monday while speaking to the media. Less than 24 hours after the Timberwolves fired coach Tom Thibodeau amid a sub-.500 season, Rose was asked if he could continue to play at a high level without Thibodeau.
“I have a lot of confidence in myself,” Rose told reporters. “Thibs was just the coach that believed in me. He jump-started my career again and for that I’ll always be thankful, but for everybody that think that it’s going to stop, kill yourself.”
Rose again told doubters to “kill yourself” in response to a different question.
“Like I said, for everybody that think I’m not going to play the same way, kill yourself, because I believe in myself,” Rose said.
Rose has had a career rebirth this season and can partially thank Thibodeau for it.
After the Cavaliers traded Rose to the Jazz, who in turned waived the former league MVP last season, Thibodeau and the Timberwolves gave Rose potentially his final crack at the NBA. The Timberwolves re-signed him this offseason.
Rose has been on the upswing this season. He’s currently second in NBA All-Star fan voting, ahead of reigning league MVP James Harden. He’s also shooting a career-best 46.2 percent from the outside.