NBA Notes: Rose still open to return

NBA Notes: Rose still open to return
May 6, 2013, 1:45 pm
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MIAMI -- Derrick Rose still has not ruled out a return this season for the Chicago Bulls, saying he could play in their Eastern Conference semifinal against the Miami Heat.

The 2011 NBA MVP will not play for Chicago in Game 1 against Miami on Monday night, nor will forward Luol Deng. Deng returned to a hospital for more tests, the Bulls said, and underwent a spinal tap to rule out viral meningitis after becoming ill last week.

Rose has not played in more than a year while recovering from reconstructive knee surgery. He was hurt in last season's playoffs.

"Still in the air," Rose said Monday before the Bulls went through a game-day practice in Miami. "I might have a chance."

The Bulls are also awaiting word on guard Kirk Hinrich, who missed the last three games of Chicago's first-round series against Brooklyn with a calf injury. Coach Tom Thibodeau indicated that Hinrich would be a game-time decision for the opener, though did not sound optimistic.

"It's slow, steady progress," Thibodeau said. "But he's still not there."

 Jason Collins to headline DNC fundraiser

 WASHINGTON -- The Democratic National Committee says NBA veteran Jason Collins will headline its annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender gala.

Last week, Collins became the first active player in any of four major U.S. professional sports leagues to come out as gay. President Barack Obama called the 34-year-old athlete the same day to congratulate him and tell him he was proud of his courage.

The DNC says first lady Michelle Obama will also attend the May 29 fundraiser in New York. Tickets start at $1,250 per person and go up to $32,400 per couple to chair the event.

The DNC included a call to legalize same-sex marriage in the party's convention platform last year.

Collins has played for six teams in 12 seasons and is now a free agent.

Larry Drew still coach of the Hawks -- for now

ATLANTA -- One day after the Atlanta Hawks were bounced from the NBA playoffs, Larry Drew remained their coach.

Whether he sticks around much longer is the most pressing issue for a team that expects a radical transformation this summer.

General manager Danny Ferry, who will get to put his imprint on the franchise heading into his second year, said Saturday it was too soon to make a call on the future of a coach he inherited.

Ferry said the disappointment of a six-game loss to the Indiana Pacers needed to wear off a bit before he decides whether Drew should get another contract.

"We're going to take some time, give it some distance, give it some space from the season, from the playoffs, from the emotions of that," Ferry said on the practice court at Philips Arena. "Then we'll make decisions that we feel are best in the short-term and long-term interests of the team."

Drew endured what was essentially a lame-duck year after the team renewed the option on his contract last summer but didn't give him an extension. That put him in a difficult situation, especially coaching a team that has only three players who are definitely under contract for next season.

"I thought we had a really good season given what our circumstances were. They weren't the best," Drew said. "Whether I'm back here or not, I don't know. The one thing I will say is I've had a great run here."