Johnson went into the award show as an extremely short-priced favourite to take out the major award after an extremely consistent season with the New Zealand Warriors, who he guided to a top four spot in the process.
However, things didn't go to plan with both stars being rested in the final round, meaning it came down to their respective Round 26 games, as Johnson polled three points and Kalyn six to snare the medal.
The decision created some minor controversy, with Warriors' team mate Jazz Tevaga taking to Instagram to claim 'KP' was good, but Johnson was robbed in the utility's own Kanye West moment.
Despite all the chatter, Johnson believes 'robbery' couldn't be any further from the truth.
“I wasn't (robbed), Kalyn had a great year, he was the centrepiece of the Knights going on their run, and it was a really special run they went on,” Johnson told the SMH.
“If there was going to be a person I thought was going to get it, it was him.
“When I got asked before the night what it would mean to me, I hadn't put much thought into it.
“As the night goes on, and they string you along [with the results], your heart gets racing, and I was like, ‘maybe I am a genuine chance of winning it'.
“At some point in the night, I started caring about it. I said to Kalyn up there, ‘Did you play the last two rounds?' He said, ‘I didn't play the last one', and I was like, ‘Neither did I'.
“When they gave me my points [for the last game], I asked him, ‘How well did you play? Did you kill it?' He said, ‘I played good, but I didn't kill it'. I was like, ‘OK'. Then six points popped up, and I was like, ‘bro, you killed it, you little liar'.”
Johnson did seemingly miss points in games where he performed well, casting a shadow of sorts over the award system.
The Kiwi halfback did have to compete with prop forward Addin Fonua-Blake for points, who enjoyed a career-best season at the 'Wash', and especially polled strongly late in the season.