Oh Shoot!

Nike takes heat over new ad

By Andy Salsman
|  Saturday, Jan 30, 2010  |  Updated 10:31 AM EDT
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Oh Shoot!

Getty Images

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 25: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on December 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** LeBron James;Kobe Bryant

Perhaps Nike didn’t get the memo that the NBA is a bit sensitive these days about guns. A new ad by the shoe giant features two of basketball’s biggest stars, Lebron James and Kobe Bryant, and includes a gun reference.

Not a good idea the same week the league suspended the Wizards’ Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton for carrying weapons into the team’s locker room.

The new ad appears in several publications, including Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine. It includes a quote from Bryant that reads: "I’ll do whatever it takes to win games. I don’t leave anything in the chamber.” The chamber refers to the chamber of a gun.

Timing is everything, and Bryant says this ad was finished months ago. He still calls it “inappropriate,” the same word the NBA used to describe the ad.

Nike says the ad is meant to show Bryant’s devotion to basketball and says the chamber reference is often used to refer to shooting a basketball. Lebron James is also coming to Bryant’s defense and says the quote had nothing to do with guns.
 

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