The man behind LeBron James’ Nike sneakers sparked outrage after mocking Adidas rival Derrick Rose following his season-ending ACL tear Saturday.
Senior footwear designer Jason Petrie tweeted Rose "chose poorly" and "#shouldasignedwithNIKE" after the superstar Bulls guard suffered the injury in his team’s playoffs opener against the Philadelphia 76ers in Chicago.
Rose, the 2011 NBA MVP, signed a career deal with Adidas in February worth a minimum of $185 million over 13 years.
Petrie, who designed the sneakers worn and endorsed by Heat star James, made a comparison between his man and Rose, who he referred to by his family nickname, "Pooh."
"You got one guy only getting stronger, and one guy breaking down before our very eyes. You chose poorly Pooh… #shouldasignedwithNIKE #GWS [get well soon]," he tweeted.
Petrie received an angry response for his comments, which followers branded in "bad taste" and "classless."
Another tweeted, "Damn, you’re an embarrassment to Nike tweeting that."
The designer attempted to draw back from the criticism, tweeting, "Y’all take sh#t too serious! Never want to see anyone get hurt- I hope DRose comes back stronger than ever, he’s too good…"
But as more and more people expressed their disgust at his original ill-judged comment, he went back on the offensive, tweeting, "Just to set the record straight- if you ain’t with me you against me, and if that’s the case I don’t give a F about you!"