Update 3:33 p.m.: The Cavs told SBNation.com that the page still being up was an error related to a new CMS.
The timing of the decision, given Cleveland's recruitment of James for a possible reunion in Cleveland, is impossible to ignore. But according to the Cavaliers, the decision to remove the letter was actually about closing a loophole they already believed had been shut.
"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.
James' rumored meeting with the Cavaliers Sunday is of course why the letter's deletion is significant in the first place, but Carper downplayed the timing of the move beyond noting the spike in traffic to that page.
"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."
Huh. What a coincidence.
The Cavaliers' website is now sans Comic Sans.
As rumors of a potential return to Cleveland for LeBron James swirled Sunday night and into Monday, the Cavaliers removed the infamous letter that Dan Gilbert wrote in the aftermath of The Decision in 2010 Sunday night. The page it has remained on since 2010 now redirects to the Cavaliers' home page.
The letter, courtesy of TheMarySue.com:
Yeah, if you're trying to pitch a guy to come back and play with what is likely a young, talented, but inexperienced and not-as-championship-ready team? You might want to take that down.
Also, good call on that guarantee, there, CavsDan.
James' agent is reportedly pushing him to return to Cleveland in free agency. You have to wonder if and when James and Gilbert meet to discuss a potential return if this letter will come up, and if Gilbert will apologize.