Derrick Rose and Tom Thibodeau were close.
That's obvious. You know a player has a good relationship with a coach when the two team up for deep playoff runs, then split up for professional reasons. (Tom got fired; Derrick wound up in New York, then Cleveland.)
Rose was among the few players -- Taj Gibson being another -- who ever really took to Thibodeau's brutalist approach to practice and exhaustive minute counts. Rose clearly doesn't mind expectations of insane amounts of effort, night in and night out, and trusted Thibodeau knew what he was doing.
Clearly, others disagreed: The coach (now ex-coach, since yesterday evening) was criticized almost constantly for his handling of personnel. And Rose has come in for some criticism himself of late. Namely, the deeply troubling accusations made against him related to a sexual assault case, or what some like to euphemistically call "off the court issues."
Funny they'd use that phrase, as Rose's "issues" were the kind that actually wound up getting settled in court. Just not the kind of court he's famous for ruling. The federal civil lawsuit against Rose and two other men came to an end in fall 2016 with a jury acquittal. About 18 months later, he rejoined Thibodeau, this time in Minnesota.
With all that in mind, here's what Rose said today about moving on after losing his favorite coach. It's... not a good look.
Here's Rose, on how he goes forward w/out Thibs: "I have a lot of confidence in myself. 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."— Chris Hine (@ChristopherHine) January 7, 2019
Clearly Derrick's not feeling great about the Wolves' decision, and odds are whoever the long-term replacement is, they probably never mean as much to him as Tom did. And vice versa.
Derrick Rose reflects on Thibs: “He was the only coach that believed in me... No teams wasn’t looking for me at all. I was basically out the league. Even coming here, everybody didn’t know I was going to play this way.” pic.twitter.com/IUTz7tEUPn— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) January 7, 2019
If you doubt Derrick Rose, we at City Pages would like to offer an alternative: Do not kill yourself. Just putting that one out there.
Update: Rose just apologized for his use of the "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