Jay-Z may rap about not wanting to wear jerseys anymore because he's over 30, but 30-plus P. Diddy doesn't think there's anything wrong with throwing on sporting garb, especially if he's the one designing it.

Diddy will design the Dallas Mavericks' alternate uniforms for the 2004-2005 season, representatives of the NBA team said Friday (December 5).

"The future is now," Mavericks merchandising director Tim Henning said from Dallas. "We think he's the perfect designer for this kind of project. He knows design, he knows what's happening in terms of what we think is street-credible. Nobody out there is as equipped as Puff — and Sean John, specifically — to take on a project like this. [People] are wearing uniforms as fashion, and who's the guy on top in urban fashion? P. Diddy."

The b-ballers will wear their alternate unis at least 12 times during the season but could sport them on the court more times than that.

Henning said the relationship between Diddy and the team began two years ago, when the hip-hop mogul befriended headline-making Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, but it was two weeks ago that the uniform idea really gathered steam.

"The relationship could develop into something more significant," Henning said. The two sides are talking about Diddy designing ancillary pieces to accompany the jerseys, such as shooting shirts and shorts. But first the jerseys are expected to be unveiled at the annual Magic fashion convention in February. The jerseys should be available in stores with other NBA attire next fall. Mavericks players will begin wearing their new gear in the 2004 preseason.

Henning clarified that the uniforms will not bear the Sean John clothing line logo because of Reebok's licensing deal with the NBA, but he said there'll be some element on the garments that identifies them as Sean John.

Neither Diddy nor his spokesperson at Bad Boy could be reached at press time, and Diddy's rep at Sean John said he hadn't heard about the Mavericks deal.

On the music side, Diddy's next Bad Boy release will be Carl Thomas' Let's Talk About It, due February 10.