During his time with the basketball program, Derrick Nix has developed a signature catchphrase upon each of his team’s victories.
Each time the Spartans head back to the locker room after a win, the senior center rushes to his Twitter account to send out the short and sweet tribute, “R.I.P. ta da competition.” The message quickly has become a fan favorite and is echoed as a battle cry by dozens of people across the social media platform.
However, Nix recently decided to remove himself from Twitter, citing a disinterest in the platform and social media in general — a well-documented sentiment shared by head coach Tom Izzo during his tenure. And similar to his head coach, Nix wants to avoid the hassle and subsequent trouble that comes with representing oneself in social media.
“Nowadays, Twitter and Instagram, it’ll get you caught up if you’re trying to be a player or something like that,” Nix said. “People screenshot messages and put it on Instagram. It’s dangerous. A lot of females’ feelings get hurt on social media so that’s why I got off it — another reason I got off it.”
In removing himself from Twitter, Nix is taking a cue from his more reserved teammate Keith Appling.
The junior guard Appling doesn’t maintain an active presence on Twitter, nor does he personally embrace many of the concepts behind social media. It’s a personality that’s been carried by Appling since his days at Detroit Pershing High School, where he mostly was reserved and reportedly didn’t even listen to music, according to Nix — a fact that Appling jokingly disputes.
“He was just joking when he said that,” Appling said with a grin. “I do listen to music.”
But according to Appling, the quiet and reserved nature is just a part of his personality, though he knows how to raise to a different level when the situation calls for it.
“I’m a behind-closed-doors-type of guy, you know,” Appling said. “I really don’t do too much yelling or screaming and putting myself out there or anybody else. I just try to make my words be heard, whether it be in somebody’s ear or behind closed doors where nobody knows.”
Although it’s often asked about, there’s no telling if or when Nix will rejoin the world of Twitter. After all, there are more important tasks at hand than to wonder what the 6-feet-9 center is eating, thinking about and doing at all hours of the day.
But for a moment, at least, Nix will stay away and focused on the game he loves, while sending his well wishes to the opposition in private.
“Gary (Harris has) more followers than me and (he’s) a freshman — it’s disrespected,” Nix said. “(I had) a thousand (followers) or something like that. … That means I’m not important so I should stay off of it.”