It's been so long since Hersey Hawkins sat out a game he wasn't quite sure what to wear.

Hawkins missed the Bulls' game against the Nets last night with a torn left calf muscle, ending his streak of continuous games played at 527. Only A.C. Green, the all-time iron man who has played in 1,048 games, has a longer active streak.

"I don't remember the last time I wore a suit. So it's going to be odd," Hawkins said before the game. "I'm disappointed. I've always prided myself in trying to play. . . . But this is when I think it will do more harm than good.

"It had to end sometime," he added. "I was thinking, 'What the heck am I going to do?' It's an odd feeling knowing you want to be playing."

Hawkins brought his two oldest sons, Brandon and Corey, to last night's game.

Hawkins's streak began almost seven years ago on Jan. 19, 1993. During the span, he has played for the 76ers, Hornets, SuperSonics and Bulls.

* SLAM-DUNK CONTEST BACK: After a three-year absence, the slam-dunk contest will return to all-star weekend Feb. 12-13 in Oakland, Calif.

"We've had a lot of interest expressed by the best people, the players, who've said, 'I have a few moves that are reminiscent of Dominique or Michael,' " Commissioner David Stern said. "So we'll see what our players have."