Dan Gilbert's tantrum of an open letter remained on the Cavs' website for one day shy of four years, conveniently being deleted just as the Cavs stepped up their free agency pursuit of LeBron James. A team spokesman explained to SB Nation's Mike Prada just how that went down:
"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."
I...don't know what this means? The URL that was working last night was the same as the original four years ago; it was never "removed." So this is, I think, Carper's way of saying they just forgot about it.
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.
As someone who works almost exclusively in the medium of Kinja™, I am sympathetic. But it's not hard to picture Rich Paul explaining this to LeBron James. They said they forgot they published a letter from your old boss badmouthing you for leaving. Then they said they didn't know how to take it down. And then LeBron telling Paul to just forget this whole Cleveland thing.
Let's remember the good times.