Any mail client has it. Trash can. Deleted items. They all call it something different, but my God, it's right there. A half-terrabyte of data doesn't mean you save every freakin' Twitter message that comes your way. The Seattle Supersonics management might have gotten away with merely being hated in Seattle for taking their team, rather than taking their team and lying about it, had they heeded this very advice.
We already heard about e-mails between Clay Bennett and Tom Ward about being a "man possessed" in bringing the team to Oklahoma City. Now another owner, Aubrey McClendon, had some damning electronic messages be read aloud in court:
In early 2007, McClendon predicted that a controversy over his contributions to an anti-gay marriage group would improve the chances of the Sonics moving to Oklahoma City.
An innovative, if slightly ill-advised, strategy. "Why, yes, Seattle. I hate the gay. What's that? You're offended? Well then I'll just take my team here and move. Think about voting No on Issue 3 again!"
Later that year, McClendon apologized to principal Sonics owner Clay Bennett for telling an Oklahoma newspaper he'd always intended to move the Sonics. But McClendon added, "the truth is we did buy it with the hope of moving to Oklahoma City," according to a copy of his e-mail read aloud during the deposition.
So let this be a lesson to all young entrepreneurs out there. Don't lie in e-mails, where your words can be refrigerated, dug up, scrutinized and pulled out of context. Save it for church.
More Revealing Sonics E-mails Emerge [Seattle Times]