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Cavaliers claim they tried to remove Dan Gilbert’s LeBron James letter years ago

Jul 8, 2014, 1:30 AM EDT

LeBron James LeBron James

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.

Via Mike Prada of SB Nation:

“The letter was removed years ago from the 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.

  1. gbart22 - Jul 8, 2014 at 1:49 AM

    I’m so tired of hearing about the letter. The man was emotional when he wrote it. He loves his team he loved his star and then when that star left him for someone new he was hurt and lashed out.

    It was a break up and which of us hasn’t acted ourselves or known someone or dated someone who acted the same way? Doesn’t make the person a bad person for being hurt.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 8, 2014 at 1:56 AM

      Except for this is business with grown ups and not some 1st love high school romance.

      • Vir Publius - Jul 8, 2014 at 7:35 AM

        Yeah LeBron really proved he was a grown up with the Decision.

      • jimmy53 - Jul 8, 2014 at 8:21 AM

        Vir Pubilus:

        Lebron was a player in his mid-20’s who followed poor advice—although people seem to forget that the main goal of “The Decision” was to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club. It was meant to drum up sponsorship, and all proceeds from sponsors went to the B & G Club organization.

        Gilbert was an owner in a position of authority who aced like a petulant spurned child. There’s a big difference.

      • misremembered72 - Jul 8, 2014 at 9:10 AM

        Jimmy 53:
        Don’t kid yourself. Lebron can raise millions of dollars for any foundation by just snapping his fingers and showing up to an event to shake some hands and kiss babies etc. Lebron did this because he enjoys the spotlight

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 8, 2014 at 10:59 AM

        “Lebron was a player in his mid-20′s who followed poor advice—although people seem to forget that the main goal of “The Decision” was to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club. It was meant to drum up sponsorship, and all proceeds from sponsors went to the B & G Club organization.”

        No, that was absolutely not the main goal of the television show. It was an hour-long love fest to LeBron that he hoped would help build his brand as he entered into a new opportunity. The Boys and Girls Club donation was not the main goal, but a way he hoped to gain further publicity. Don’t kid yourself, charity is considered a form of marketing and publicity for smart corporations and brands.

    • kb2408 - Jul 8, 2014 at 9:14 AM

      “He loved his star.” I beg to differ, he loved what his star brought to his franchise.

      • jkirby317 - Jul 8, 2014 at 11:36 AM

        That is what players are supposed to do for franchises. If he were a great guy but couldn’t play we would like his player. He was a great player for him which made him tons of money… He loved his star for what he brought with him.

    • thesixersbench - Jul 8, 2014 at 9:56 AM

      You must be as big a buffoon as Gilbert then.

    • condor75 - Jul 8, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      Sound like a comment from someone who got kicked to the curb a few times. the owner is supposed to be a businessman and it was business, not supposed be personal,he handled it like a fifth grade school girl

  2. boondocksaint224 - Jul 8, 2014 at 1:56 AM

    “If only we had a professional NBA-run website with a webmaster thingy and all that jazz. We’ve been trying to get Donyell Marshall off our roster page for years now!”

    That’s a lie a 12 year old would come up with.

  3. 00maltliquor - Jul 8, 2014 at 1:59 AM

    I want too see James shake South Beach pretty bad just to see the drama play out if nothing else, but I don’t want to see him go back to CLE. Gilbert doesn’t deserve to have a LeBron. Or even an Irving.

    • balsagna - Jul 8, 2014 at 7:28 AM

      Lol yea, he’s such a terrible person. GASP He wrote a mean letter!!!!! He doesn’t deserve anything ever again!!!!

      • condor75 - Jul 8, 2014 at 11:37 AM

        he handled it like a self pitying punk

      • balsagna - Jul 8, 2014 at 11:51 AM

        Yep, he handled it like a child. There is no denying it, but you people act as if he punched Lebron’s wife while she was pregnant. He wrote a letter, if Lebron can’t get over that then I don’t know what to tell him.

      • limonadamas - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:49 PM

        @balsagna: Ummm… The Cavs have had more than enough go right for them since Lebron left without much to show for it. Three #1 overall picks? Multiple other picks in the top five? This is not a question of Gilbert “not deserving anything ever again.”

        If I were Lebron, I would look at the gross ineptitude of the Cavs organization and think twice about going there. Deng said the locker room was toxic.

        Past results are the greatest predictor of future success.

  4. urodaddy07 - Jul 8, 2014 at 2:07 AM


  5. harshedmellow - Jul 8, 2014 at 2:11 AM

    It’s really, really hard to imagine LBJ going back and playing for that man.

  6. ravenswhat - Jul 8, 2014 at 6:56 AM

    My IT guy is in tears over that attempt.

  7. mungman69 - Jul 8, 2014 at 7:07 AM

    I can’t find anyone to commit to where they think that LeBron is going. That shows me that he will stay in South Beach.
    If I had a choice I’d stay in Miami. I couldn’t go back to Cleveland.

  8. rhett16 - Jul 8, 2014 at 8:10 AM

    “Seems believable to us!” – The IRS.

  9. watchfullhose - Jul 8, 2014 at 8:23 AM

    “If I had a choice between Cleveland and Miami…”

    This is such a dumb comparison. Who are any of us to judge someone else’s feelings toward their home?

  10. kb2408 - Jul 8, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    If he goes back to Cleveland his popularity goes through the roof. If he leads Cleveland to a title his legend grows to epic proportions. I’m not a Cavs fan but LeBron going back home would make for one heck of a story. I hope it happens.

  11. watermelon1 - Jul 8, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    If he goes back to Cleveland his popularity goes through the roof?

    I remember people if Cleveland actually making a commercial about QUITNESS. I’m not sure the city would really welcome him back. I mean, the only thing they’d support is a championship. Anything else… They’ve already seen his first tenure there.

    • condor75 - Jul 8, 2014 at 11:38 AM

      they won 23 games last year, Seriously?

    • balsagna - Jul 8, 2014 at 11:53 AM

      Um, people in Cleveland, even the ones who still have dislike for him (very small fraction of the fan base) would get over it as fast as a fart in a fan factory if he came back. You really have no idea about Cleveland or the state of their fanbases if you think your post is even remotely based in reality.

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