On the same day the Cavaliers signing LeBron James looked more feasible than ever, they removed Dan Gilbert’s infamous post-Decision letter from their website.
Partially, they say.
“The letter was removed years ago from the Cavs.com website, but over the last week, it was discovered that it still existed from this external link to a stagnant archived page,” Cavaliers director of communications Tad Carper told SB Nation. “It was on the content management system platform that was used back in 2010.” Thus, everyone within the organization proceeded as if nothing strange was going on. But when James’ free agency started to kick into gear, one employee noticed a spike in traffic to a page that was believed to be purged from the Internet. A decision was made to delete the letter again, but the process was more complex because the team did not have direct access to the site’s old CMS. Thus, the team had to ask the league to do it for them.
“Quite frankly, we weren’t looking for [the letter] because we knew we deleted it,” he said. “If [it still being an active url] would have become apparent a year ago, we would have deleted it too.”
I can’t speak to the Cavs’ intent. It’s feasible a switch to a new system produced a duplicate version of that particular page, and only one iteration was deleted. Or there could have been some other error.
But I’ve seen it mentioned multiple times during the last four years that the team’s official website still hosted the letter. Regardless of whether they wanted it scrubbed years ago, they didn’t take the proper steps to bring it down until now.
Considering Gilbert was defending the letter this year, I’m skeptical of their excuse.