A few posts ago, I argued that Kampman’s silence probably wasn’t that big of a deal and that he maybe just wanted to learn more re the defense before saying much about it etc. I wrote in response to Greg Bedard’s article contending the Kampman silence was very odd and may have been due to his unhappiness with the new defense and/or possibly its potential effect on his contract negotiations.
Well, it’s not that I didn’t believe Greg – he wrote a compelling article. It’s more that I just thought that when Kampman did speak, he’d put our concerns at ease. Well, I’m not so sure he did. After reading this article by Jason Wilde of the WSJ, I am now leaning toward believing that Bedard/Wilde may be right – Kampman may really not like this defense. His response to a question about whether he likes the defense, according to Wilde, was: “I’m learning it.” There are so many better ways to answer this question without lying and fueling media hype about your possible unhappiness with the new defense. In fact, what seems to be missing in most of Kampman’s responses is the solid, balanced, optimism he usually offers the media. I usually trust Wilde (as I usually trust Bedard), and given that both of them have now expressed these same concerns and that both of them have an insider’s sense for the players, I can’t help but alter my take on this situation. Wilde mentioned on the radio the other day that at that time, part of the reason for Kampman’s silence could be due to the fact that he’s such a devout Christian and that he will not lie, so he just didn’t want to have to face the media because he knew he’d have trouble balancing no lying with being a team guy. At the time, I doubted Wilde’s take – now I’d say it seems probable.
I still believe that the hard work and attitude that got Kampman here will ultimately prevail and make him successful in the new defense. But I have to say, I find his shiftiness about all of this curious and regard it at this point, as a developing concern. It’s not that I don’t understand where he’s coming from – I would be frustrated if a major change came down at my workplace and it made me shift into a different role I had doubts about and that could very well affect my financial future. But what seems odd here is that Kampman seems to be going about this, as Wilde says, in a very “un-Kampman-like” fashion.