NBA star Derrick Rose apologizes for ‘kill yourself’ comments
Thibodeau was dismissed from the Timberwolves on Sunday, in a move that took many by surprise.
Rose has worked with the 60-year-old at the Timberwolves and previously at the Chicago Bulls, and has credited Thibodeau with “believing in him” during difficult times in his career.
When asked about the future at the Timberwolves, Rose used the term “kill yourself” to address people who apparently doubted that he would thrive now that Thibodeau was no longer on the sidelines.
"Thibs was just the coach that believed in me. I mean, he jump-started my career again and for that, I'll always be thankful. But everybody that thinks that it's gonna stop, kill yourself. It's just not," Rose, 30, had said on Monday.
He also repeated the phrase when discussing how Thibodeau had supported him during the early stages of his career.
Rose later apologized for the comments, saying he had "messed up" and had merely been using a “slang term.”
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
Former league MVP Rose has suffered serious knee injuries in recent years, but has enjoyed a revival this season, averaging 18.9 points and 4.8 assists per game as he has racked up his best stats since the 2011-12 season.
The Timberwolves parted ways with Thibodeau on Sunday. He had been coach since 2016 and guided them to the playoffs last term after a 13-season absence.
The team are 19-21 this season and lie 11th in the Western Conference.
Assistant coach Ryan Saunders has been appointed interim head coach, and at just 32 is the youngest in the NBA to hold the position.