Sonny Bill Williams could play his last NRL game tonight.
If not, the end will come at some stage this month - as the 35-year-old is unlikely to suit up again next year - and he'll bow out with fewer than 130 career matches.
Indeed, when it comes to Williams, some people who started following the NRL during the last decade might be wondering what all the fuss is about.
He has been a late season arrival at the Roosters and played minimal minutes, but grabbed plenty of headlines.
What's the big deal about a guy that spent most of the last 10 years in the All Blacks, appearing at three Rugby World Cups?
In these days of instant heroes and fleeting fame, it's easy to forget just how special Williams was in the 13-a-side code, which is why he will always be regarded as a league legend.
"He's the most athletically gifted player I've ever coached, and I only had him a couple of times," says former Kiwis coach Brian McClennan. "I saw him train amongst the best New Zealand had and he was the most athletic player I have ever seen."
Long-time league commentator Allen McLaughlin is unequivocal.
"If I had to pick my all-time New Zealand NRL team, he would be one of the first guys I would pick," says McLaughlin. "I've never seen anyone, not any Australians either, that could offload like he could."
From a league perspective, time may have dulled the buzz around Williams. But it shouldn't.
He has arguably become more synonymous with rugby in this country, after 58 tests with the All Blacks and time with the Crusaders, Chiefs and Blues, but that is far from the full picture.
Tonight's game against the Raiders will be his 50th match for the Roosters, with this year's cameo preceded by the two-season stint in 2013-14.
He was good in 2014 – in a campaign affected by injury – but his deeds the season before made him a Bondi legend.
Williams helped to transform a team that had finished 13th in 2012 into premiers, bringing NRL glory back to the eastern suburbs for the first time since 2002.
And Williams saved his best for the biggest stage. He was superb in the finals series, culminating in a dazzling second-half performance in the grand final, as the Roosters overturned a 18-8 deficit to win 26-18.
That was special, but his tenure at the Bulldogs in the mid-2000s had already carved his legacy. Though it ended in bizarre circumstances, as he walked out on the club to play rugby in France mid-season, his feats on the field were incredible.
"He's the best offloading second rower I have ever seen…for his style of play and ability to get the ball away in the tackle," says McLaughlin. "Then there was his impact as a defensive player. He could do it at both ends of the field."
Williams, who attended Owairaka Primary school, then Wesley Intermediate, played for the local Marist Saints club and was turning heads in his early teens.
"His family is rugby league," says McClennan. "His uncles, his grandfathers, they could all play. He was a pure bred to play the game and it was no surprise to anyone who knew the league families. Sonny was going to be a good one."
At 16 he became the youngest player to sign for the Bulldogs and made his first-grade debut two years later, marking Kangaroos centre Jamie Lyon. A star was born.
He made two searing line breaks, set up a try, scored another and ran for 184 metres while contributing 21 tackles in Canterbury's 48-14 win over the Eels, with Laurie Daley opining that he could be the best player to ever come out of New Zealand.
After just his fifth NRL match, a 24-18 win over the Warriors in Wellington, the 18-year-old was named in the Kiwis squad for the Anzac test.
The Williams legend gained momentum at the end of that season, when he returned from three months out with an ankle injury.
He helped the Bulldogs beat the reigning premiers (Panthers) then destroyed the Cowboys, scoring a try within a minute of coming on and setting up two more in a comeback win.
Around this time, with less than 10 games under his belt, his contract was upgraded from $100,000 to more than $350,000 a season, according to Paul Kent's excellent biography Sonny Ball.
It was unprecedented, but so was Williams' talent. The Bulldogs beat the Storm 43-18 in the second week of the finals, then ended Penrith's season a week later. Williams ran for 190 metres, but that match was remembered for a couple of ferocious shoulder charges by the teenager.
"His impact with the shoulder charge was something else," says McLaughlin. "They almost changed the rule because of his shoulder charges."
The Bulldogs won a tight grand final 16-13, with Williams carrying for 116 metres and contributing 20 tackles, including a bone-jarring hit on Chris Flannery.
He was an automatic inclusion in the Kiwis' Tri Nations squad, and the focus of attention. Playing at lock, Williams was everywhere and named man of the match in a thrilling 16-16 draw.
"He was sensational," recalls McClennan, Kiwis assistant coach for that campaign. "Off the back of the grand final too. I always remember my Dad saying to me after that test match, 'if you took Sonny's jersey off, he's probably got a Superman suit under there, he was that good'. And he was only 19 years old."
Though the Kiwis missed the Tri Nations final, Williams was recognised as the international rookie of the year.
The 2005 season was a bust (just five games due to injuries) but he returned with a bang in 2006.
Williams averaged 133 running metres, threw 65 offloads, made 84 tackle busts and 12 line breaks. He added eight tries, from 21 games, as the Bulldogs reached the preliminary final.
The following season was the best yet. While the team struggled, Williams reached new levels. He topped 150 running metres eight times and scored 14 tries, an unstoppable force on the field.
Sometimes he seemed to take teams on singlehandedly and the peak came in a 52-4 shellacking of the Raiders. Williams crossed for a hat-trick, made three line breaks and broke tackles at will.
"I saw it in the Kiwis," says McClennan. "Just little things like one-on-one tackle techniques, small drills. You would look at Sonny and go 'My god, he looks a little bit quicker than everyone else'."
Even during his final Bulldogs season in 2008, when Williams was, as it turned out, planning his exit with the help of new manager Khoder Nasser, the excellence continued.
With a depleted Bulldogs team, after a string of departures, Williams was the focal point of the pack. He was leading the club in most statistics and the Bulldogs were scoring an average of 25 points a game when he played, but only 10 when he didn't, before his dramatic walkout in July.
Williams was a very different proposition for his second NRL chapter at the Roosters. His game had evolved – less raw physicality – but the main difference was his mindset and lifestyle.
Always dedicated, he had become the ultimate athlete, and helped to transform the Roosters' thinking, from the canteen kitchen to the training field.
"He has been able to discipline his mind and is regarded as one of the best players when it comes to preparing himself," says McClennan.
"There were a couple of incidents when he was at the Bulldogs and he got caught in some turmoil. Out of all that he had to make some hard decisions and he was able to go on and be very successful."
The new prevalence of wrestling meant that Williams encountered a different competition, but he still made a tremendous impact.
During 24 games in the 2013 season he had a career record 66 offloads, as well as eight tries and 13 line breaks, with the Roosters winning 75 per cent of their matches when he took the field.
His versatility was impressive, as he played in the halves on three occasions during his Bondi spell, which ended after the 2014 preliminary final.
What's missing from Williams' resume is Kiwis success. He only played 12 tests and was never in a winning side against Australia (1 draw, six losses).
Injuries meant he couldn't figure in the 2005 and 2006 Tri Nations campaigns, while the Kiwis at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup were a team caught between two strong eras, though Williams had an impressive tournament and was key to the late comeback in the semifinal against England.
"It never panned out for him at international level," admits McLaughlin.
But as a New Zealand league player, he is amongst the best, even if it was for less than half of his professional career.
"He was the difference at the Bulldogs, and he was the difference at the Roosters," says McLaughlin. "If Sonny Bill played, you turned the TV on, or you went to the game. It was a chance to see a freak."
"He had an impact in the minds of so many kids. We all hear this myth that every boy wants to be an All Black. He created something where every league boy wanted to grow up to be Sonny Bill Williams."
Asked for his take on Williams' legacy, McClennan sums it up sweetly.
"If you sat down with every player from his time and said, who is the most athletically gifted player you have ever played with, I guarantee you they will say Sonny. That's the measure."