Kyrie Irving’s decision to ask for a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers was partly influenced by Justin Bieber's pastor, according to TMZ Sports. Based on a report by TMZ Sports, Irving had a long talk with Carl Lentz of Hillsong Church earlier this month and expressed his desire to step out of LeBron James’ shadow in Cleveland. Church sources said Lentz did not advise Irving to leave the Cavaliers but encouraged him to make the decision “he felt was best." Irving is a long-time active member of Lentz’s church and has been a close friend of the pastor for years now.

Irving decided to ask for trade

After Irving’s talk with Lentz, he met with Cavaliers team owner Dan Gilbert on July 7 and asked for a trade, saying he wanted to become the focal point of a team’s offense, away from James’ huge shadow. Irving gave the Cavaliers his preferred trade destinations, including the San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks, Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Miami Heat.

Several teams have expressed interest in trading for Irving, including the Phoenix Suns, Timberwolves, Knicks, and the Milwaukee Bucks. Phoenix reportedly offered Eric Bledsoe and rookie Josh Jackson for Irving but the Suns later clarified that Jackson will not be a part of any trade.

The Wolves, for their part, are exploring the possibility of trading Andrew Wiggins to the Cavaliers for Irving, while the Bucks plan to offer Jabari Parker for the All-Star playmaker.

It was also reported that the Knicks, Suns, and Cavs were working on a three-team trade that would send Irving and Tyson Chandler to New York, Carmelo Anthony and Eric Bledsoe to Cleveland, and Kevin Love and rookie Frank Ntilikina to Phoenix.

Bieber rededicated life to Christ

Bieber made headlines after he decided to end his Purpose tour after having a long talk with Lentz.

According to TMZ, Bieber decided to cancel the remaining shows of his tour because he "rededicated his life to Christ." Earlier, it was reported that Bieber cancelled his tour due to exhaustion but sources close to the singer denied it. The move angered Bieber’s crew because the cancellation was made without any warning. However, TMZ was told that Lentz did not advise Bieber to cancel the tour.

Both developments came after Bieber, Lentz, and Irving were spotted while hanging out in Los Angeles over a week ago. According to the latest TMZ report, Bieber chose the church over the Purpose tour because members treat him like an ordinary person and it allows him to worship in total peace.