Every once in a while a player surprises you.

That was the case Friday morning in Phoenix.

Expecting to have a conversation with Amir Johnson about his new/old role coming off the bench and how energized he looked in that capacity in that forgettable loss in Golden State Tuesday, Johnson turned the conversation in a completely different direction.

“I kind of asked to be on bench,” Johnson said following Friday’s shootaround. “I guess everybody didn’t know that, huh?”

After his questioner picked his jaw up off the floor and after Johnson repeated himself just in case the message hadn’t hit home, the conversation continued.

“Seriously? You asked to come off the bench?”

“Yeah. I wanted to see if there would be a difference. I wanted to see if we could get the offence going that way. I had talked to the coach weeks before the decision was made. I just wanted to make that clear.”

Asked why he was putting this out there a full five days and two games after the move was made, Johnson shrugged his shoulders and said, “Nobody really asked.”

To be clear, the surprise was more that Johnson was only making this point now. Johnson has always been an unselfish player willing to do whatever he thought was best for his team, although giving up a starting spot and the contractual leverage that provides a player is almost unheard of even for the most unselfish.