I like Shaun Johnson. Not that that matters.
I also like him as a player. And ditto to that. But this is half the problem, isn't it? Everything to do with the Warriors seems personal, feels personal, is personal.
We feel like we know him even though we don't. We feel like we have some personal stake in his playing future even though we won't. It's what happens when you're the one and only club in the comp, the only team in town.
The advantages include getting to consume the entire attention pie every week rather than compete for that single slice, the downside being that the microscope of introspection is always on and often relentless — like these last weeks with every angle and utterance concerning Johnson's future a front page certainty.
As awkward as the whole thing has been, it's also entirely of the CEO's doing.
From the moment Cameron George went public questioning his halfback's future, the writing was on the wall that Johnson and the club, in fact, had none.
This standoff has been as much about egos as anything else. Who really is in charge of the club — the message being sent loud and clear that from this point on it's not the players.
As popular as Johnson might be, no one is irreplaceable, popularity also clearly no measure of playing ability.
And in the cold hard world of sport-as-business that is the only consideration.
How good is Johnson right now? How much better could he be next season?
Has he played his best league? Is he, according to the club, worth the money they pay him?
The answer to that, according to Mr George, is an emphatic No.
162 games later, Shaun Johnson is gone.
Much debate will now take place about the contribution's he's made, whether he did or didn't realise his full potential and if this is truly the best move for both him and the Warriors.
I think it is.
The situation was untenable. The club wanted to seriously cut his contract, he equally wants and needs to sign the biggest final deal of his career.
It's called a stand-off. And that's something we all know was never his best position.
I wish Shaun all the best and thank him for a decade's loyal service.
As for the club, I guess it goes without saying, "yous got your way".