It's been almost a week since the shocking news that Kyrie Irving had requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers broke, but at this point, we're still left with more questions than answers. Will the Cavaliers really entertain offers even though Irving is under contract for a couple more years? How long has Kyrie been harboring these feelings towards LeBron James? What ultimately led to Irving's decision to go ahead with his request?
We might be getting closer to finding an answer to that last question. According to a new TMZ Sports report, Irving reached his decision to ask for a trade after "long chats with pastor Carl Lentz of Hillsong Church," who Irving has reportedly been close with for years. Lentz's name has been circulating in the news recently following the announcement of Justin Bieber's cancellation of the remaining dates on his Purpose World Tour. Initial reports said that Bieber has "rededicated his life to Christ" after spending the last few months with the Hillsong Church pastor. The singer has since shot down those rumors, stating that he needed to get some rest after spending the last two years on the road.
In the report about Irving, TMZ Sports cites "church sources"—which apparently are a real thing—who claim Irving and Lentz have discussed the star point guard's desire to step out of LeBron's shadow. While the pastor didn't advise Irving to "leave Cleveland," he did reportedly hear what Kyrie had to say about the situation and encourage him to do what was best for him.
By simply listening to what Irving and Bieber have had on their minds, it seems as though Lentz has played an important role in their life decisions. So we need to ask: Who else has sat down with Lentz? Also: When is Irving going to address this trade stuff so that we can all stop speculating about it?