New York—Former NBA Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose apologized Monday for telling anyone who doubted his ability to “kill yourself” for thinking he wouldn’t keep playing well for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The 30-year-old guard, who took the 2011 MVP award while with Chicago, was answering a question about how he would fare in the wake of the team firing coach and president Tom Thibodeau on Sunday.
“I have a lot of confidence in myself,” Rose said. “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 going to stop, kill yourself. It’s just not.”
Rose later tweeted an apology, insisting he didn’t truly suggest suicide or having people harm themselves.
“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 tweeted. “I did not mean it literally and regret using it so I apologize.”
Rose, who played under Thibodeau with Chicago as well as the T-Wolves, was a three-time All-Star with the Bulls but multiple knee surgeries dimmed his glow before a return to form this season.
Rose has averaged 18.9 points and 4.8 assists a game for Minnesota while connecting on a career-high 46.2 percent of his 3-point shots.
The Timberwolves are 19-21, 11th in the Western Conference and two games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the final West playoff berth.