Derrick Rose insists that he’s going to be fine. It’s just the way he insisted it that’s the problem.
The Minnesota Timberwolves guard saw a major supporter of his leave the team on Sunday, as head coach and team president Tom Thibodeau was fired by the franchise in what can only be described as the belated fallout to the Jimmy Butler situation earlier in the season.
Thibodeau coached both Butler and Rose in Chicago, and brought the latter to Minnesota last season after an uneven campaign that saw him cast out of New York and abruptly leaving the Cavaliers in Cleveland before signing with the Timberwolves in an effort to revive his career.
Rose has had something of a resurgence in Minnesota and finding regular minutes on the floor, but it was easy for some to wonder if that would change given Thibodeau’s departure from the organization. Asked by reporters about this very thing on Monday, Rose became defensive and told his doubters to “kill yourself” multiple times in front of the assembled media.
Watching video of the video of Rose’s press conference it’s clear that Rose is using the phrase colloquially. He’s not necessarily issuing a death threat, but using “kill yourself” in place of a phrase that could also be “go to hell” or something more vulgar.
Still, telling haters to “kill yourself” isn’t something that really flies for a 30-year-old man long removed from high school. So it’s no surprise that later on Monday, as condemnations of his words grew on social media, Rose apologized on Twitter for using the “slang term” multiple times.
In a league that’s taken an increased awareness of mental health very seriously, Rose’s comments are stark. But at this point it’s clear that Rose isn’t going to change who he is. Some have taken the challenge to his doubters as a positive affirmation of confidence in himself, but words matter. And Rose choose the wrong ones here.