Kyrie Irving sits courtside during a game between the Knicks...

Kyrie Irving sits courtside during a game between the Knicks and Nets at Barclays Center on March 13. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

MEMPHIS — Kyrie Irving, who turned 30 on Wednesday, is going to get one big birthday present from New York City Mayor Eric Adams Thursday, according to a source with knowledge of the plan.

The mayor will announce that unvaccinated entertainers and athletes, including Irving and baseball players for both the Mets and Yankees, will be allowed to play in New York as an exception to the city’s private worker vaccination mandate.

The new policy is set to take effect Thursday.

“We all know we want Kyrie, we need Kyrie,” Nets coach Steve Nash said Wednesday after the team’s loss to the Grizzlies.

Irving said after the game he did not want to deal in “hypotheticals” and said he would not be answering questions about the mandate until the announcement is official.

Kevin Durant was clearly hopeful that Irving will be with the team, home and away.

“He just turns the whole team around when he’s out there,” Durant said. “We are hoping to get some good news.”

Sources said that Major League Baseball was feeling optimistic about what would be announced on Thursday. The mayor is scheduled to make “an economic and health related announcement” at Citi Field.

The Yankees'  Aaron Judge, who has not said whether or not he is vaccinated, has said he was not worried the mandate would impact the Yankees season. He added that he is happy for Irving.

Not everyone was pleased with the news that the mayor would be making an exception for athletes. The plan was criticized by Dr. Jay Varma, the top pandemic adviser to previous mayor Bill de Blasio.

“#VaccinesWork . . . unless you’re rich and powerful, in which case, #LobbyingWorks,” Varma tweeted early Wednesday night. “This mandate has always been about NYC employers. It had legal standing because it applied to all. The #KyrieCarveOut opens City up to entire scheme being voided by courts as ‘arbitrary and capricious.’ ”

Including Wednesday night’s game, Irving has played in only 20 of the Nets’ 73 games this season. Initially, the Nets did not want him as a part-time player but reversed their position and let him join the team on the road beginning on Jan. 5 in Indiana.

Under the current mandate, Irving would only be allowed to play in two of the Nets’ remaining nine games as they have a home-heavy schedule. With the news that he might be able to play all nine, the Nets can seriously be considered a championship contender again and some see them as a favorite, despite the fact they are in eighth place in the East.

Irving’s first home game would be Sunday against the Charlotte Hornets.

Irving, in his 11th season, entered the Grizzlies game averaging a career-high 27.7 points in his 20 games, or 4.7 more than his career average of 23.0. In the four games he has played since Kevin Durant returned from his knee injury, Irving has averaged 37.8 points. In his last three appearances before Wednesday night, he scored 50, 22 and 60 points.

Irving’s offensive rating is 119.3, which is the highest of any player in the league who has averaged at least 20 minutes and played 10 games.

Whether Irving has extra motivation because he could not play in New York or Toronto because of vaccine mandates has been a subject of speculation. Nets center Andre Drummond said nothing on the court surprises him when it comes to Irving.

“Today’s his birthday so God knows what’s going to happen,” Drummond said at the team’s shootaround.

With Laura Albanese

and Erik Boland

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