Derrick Rose apologized for the language he used Monday in response to a question about Tom Thibodeau’s firing.
The Timberwolves fired former coach Thibodeau on Sunday after a 108-86 victory over the Lakers. When asked if he could continue to perform at a high level without Thibodeau at the helm, Rose responded by saying his doubters should “kill yourself.”
“I have a lot of confidence in myself,” Rose told reporters, via The Minneapolis Star Tribune. “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 thinks that it’s going to stop, kill yourself.”
Rose repeated the phrase later in his session with reporters, as well.
“Like I said, for everybody that thinks I’m not going to play the same way, kill yourself, because I believe in myself,” Rose said, via The Star Tribune.
Rose later apologized on Twitter, stating that he “did not 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. “I did not mean it literally and regret using it so I apologize.”
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. I did not mean it literally and regret using it so I apologize.
— Derrick Rose (@drose) January 7, 2019
Rose is experiencing a bounce-back season, averaging 18.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. He is considered a top candidate for Most Improved Player and Sixth Man of the Year.
Minnesota (19-21) has won its last two games and will face the Thunder on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.