The Campy Syndrome: What the Living Legend Taught Me About Texting

I have had the honor and pleasure to get to know Cavalier Living Legend Campy Russell. I have interviewed him most of the 16 years I have hosted Forum 360. It was his invitation that first got me to the Cleveland Cavalier Practice Facility. I interviewed all the legends at the then-new practice facility, standing at LeBron’s locker that even resulted in a stop at the showers!

As a guest on Forum 360, I have the ability to text and email him directly. Campy does the pre-game commentary, half-time, and post-game review. Austin Carr does the game commentary.

I have interviewed Campy when the Cavs had LeBron, did not have LeBron, and had LeBron again. I interviewed him right after the fiasco about LeBron wearing a Yankee’s baseball cap, “quitting” in game 5 of the Boston series, and about shooters and scorers.

At the height of the last NBA title run, Campy would text me during a game and ask “ALL IN?” I would answer that I was as ALL IN as I could be sitting on my couch and watching the game.

Sometimes when I text Campy he would answer right away. Other times he would never answer. In my mind, I must have offended him in some way which is why he didn’t answer.

So one time I asked him what made the difference in when he did answer and when he never answered. The answer was amazing simple.

He said Leslie, if I see your text right away I answer. If it gets buried under 20 or 30 other texts, I probably will never answer because I didn’t see it. This was very liberating to me and a good lesson. All of the reasons I had assigned to his not answering were way more complicated than the truth.

I told this story to a client and now we call it the CAMPY SYNDROME. This is when you are slow to answer or never answer an email or text only because it got buried. No other reason. It’s not because someone made you mad, or offended you, it just ended up on the bottom of the pile.

It’s not the best defense in the world but I would rather have just been forgotten than been cancelled out of someone’s life.

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