Somewhere in the airspace between the court and the rim, there was that ''Coach isn't gonna like this'' moment.

But Nate Robinson has to be Nate Robinson.

So rather than take an uncontested layup midway through the second quarter of the Bulls' preseason game Tuesday against the Milwaukee Bucks, Robinson threw the ball off the glass to teammate Jimmy Butler for an easy dunk.

Minutes after the game, when coach Tom Thibodeau came into the locker room and yelled, ''Nate, can I see you?'' Robinson couldn't help but resemble a kid going to the principal's office.

It was a false alarm. For now.

''Not yet, but I know it's coming,'' Robinson said when he was asked if the meeting with Thibodeau had to do with his playground pass. ''I ain't going to do it again, tell you right now. Good thing it's the preseason because in the playoffs .?.?. I'm laying that up. I looked back and saw Jimmy; the connection was there. Hopefully I helped him make 'SportsCenter.'?''