PHOTO: Kobe on SI cover: 'I'm 70 in basketball years'

Aug 20, 9:51 AM

Kobe Bryant will grace the cover of Sports Illustrated in select regions on Aug. 25, and the punchy cover quote from Black Mamba is sure to catch attention.

"I'm 70 in basketball years," Bryant tells Chris Ballard in "The Final, Fascinating Days of a Legend." He's 35 in human years, but on the comeback trail from a second major lower-body injury, and already ranking 13th all-time in regular season minutes played, Bryant certainly has some miles on him.

The only other tidbit that SI let slip ahead of the issue's release is Bryant openly accepting the haters. One of the most polarizing figures in all of sports, with legions of fervent supporters and a near-equal number of detractors, Bryant channels Omar Little when it comes to dealing with the hate.

"If you booed me for 18, 19 years, boo me for the 20th. That's the game, man," Bryant said.

The entire story is set to hit the web on Friday, ahead of Monday's release of the issue. Ballard is promising some outtakes as well, so it seems we'll continue to get to know Bryant a little better as he slowly lets down his guard late in his career.