Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.
The Nike ad, which was unveiled late last week in publications like Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine, features armor clad NBA All-Stars LeBron James and Kobe Bryant standing beside the slogan: "Prepare For Combat." The ad also carries a quote from each player boasting about his toughness. Bryant's blurb says: "I'll do whatever it takes to win games. I don't leave anything in the chamber."
Metaphorically speaking, of course, Kobe doesn't leave anything in the "chamber" when he plays basketball, especially against the Knicks where he habitually shoots the lights out. As for "King" James, he doesn't need combat armor to protect him now that he has Shaquille O'Neal as a teammate.
However, the NBA is sensitive to any gun references after Washington Wizards (née Washington Bullets) players Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton were busted for playing with guns in the Wizards' locker room. Arenas and Crittenton have been suspended for the remainder of the season.
"We had no prior notice of this ad," said NBA spokesman Tim Frank. "We think it is inappropriate."
Bullseye, Tim! Or should we say, Swish!
Dumb-o-meter score: 75 -- Here's our question: Can we still call Pete Maravich the "Pistol?"
Icahn's (Block) Bust
Icahn relinquished his seat on Blockbuster's board last Friday, five years after he launched a proxy battle that resulted in his winning three board seats, and three years after he ousted then CEO John Antioco. Icahn cited Institutional Shareholder Services guidelines regarding how many directorships he can hold for his exit.
No, what really led to Icahn's exit was the movie rental chain's stock sinking to 45 cents from the $10 range it was trading at when he started hammering Antioco over an excessive pay package and his direction for the company. In the end, it seems that neither Icahn nor his flunkies could turn this Titanic around (and we're not referring to the box office smash James Cameron movie).
That's laughable. We don't see where he added any value. And we certainly don't think Icahn will be winning best director for his work on Blockbuster any time soon.
Amazon's Sob Story
Amazon announced on Monday it will submit to the demands of publishing giant Macmillan and agree to sell digital versions of its books at prices it claims are too high. The online bookselling behemoth yanked new Macmillan titles last week after the publisher posted a new, higher pricing model for its e-books.
"We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan's terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books," said Amazon in a posting on its online Kindle Forum.
Moreover, most analysts believe the higher prices Amazon says were foisted upon them by Macmillan will ultimately lead to higher profits for both parties. So the last thing we want to hear is whining from Amazon. And we certainly don't want to see anymore books pulled from the shelves, electronic or otherwise.
Wal-Mart Assaults Battery Maker
Yep, it's the same old story. Wal-Mart giveth. And Wal-Mart taketh away. Big time.
Wall Street's disenchantment pales in comparison to that of Exide's management, however. In its earnings announcement, Exide admitted that Wal-Mart purchases currently represent "a significant portion of the company's Transportation Americas sales" and the order phase-outs will continue into the third quarter of fiscal 2011.
Gordon, we too hope you get all Wal-Mart's business back. And once you do, we look forward to having you back on the Five Dumbest list the next time they drop you.
As Toyota mechanics struggle to fix the gas pedal problem that led to the recall of millions of cars, the company's executives worldwide are having an even harder time repairing Toyota's good name.
Meanwhile, half a world away in the land of the rising sun and the home of the falling automaker, Toyota's president Akio Toyoda was not helping matters. Toyoda was blasted by Japanese critics after he decided not to attend a slapdash press conference addressing the multi-million vehicle recall. Unable to stand the heat, he got out of the kitchen, sending Toyota's executive vice-president in charge of quality control, Shinichi Sasaki, to be grilled in his place.
Eureka! We found the working accelerator at Toyota. It's the DOT!
Please tell us Mr. Sasaki, how's that working out for you?