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Kobe rings in Week 9 at No. 1

6/28/2010

This past week, there were World Cup goals that dazzled us (hello, Gonzalo Higuain!), sublime pitching performances (Ubaldo Jimenez, Stephen Strasburg, anyone?) and 40-year droughts broken (Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell). But none of it stacked up to the man who added ring No. 5 to his NBA championship collection. After nine weeks, Kobe Bryant is finally the recipient of this week's "Cross-Sport Power Rankings" top spot ... but is it deserved? With a less-than-perfect Game 7 performance from Kobe, was Higuain's hat trick a more difficult feat? Should Pau Gasol get more credit for the Lakers' sweet 16th championship? And does Josh Johnson deserve more credit for his current pitching streak?

Our panel has taken into account player performances from across all sports and ranked the top 20 most electrifying athletes of the week. Tell us what you think the rankings should look like below.

Visit "Cross-Sport Power Rankings" on Tuesdays on ESPN.com to see the latest rankings each week.

Our all-star ESPN panel: John Buccigross, Josh Elliott, Robert Flores, DJ Gallo, Jemele Hill, Dana Jacobson, Brian Kenny, Jeff MacGregor, Bram Weinstein and Trey Wingo.

Archive: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8

2010-11 Power Rankings: Week 9

Last Five Out: Michael Bradley, Javier Hernandez, Maicon, Rajon Rondo, Tim Howard

Newcomers: Gonzalo Higuain (No. 2), Luis Fabiano (No. 4), Diego Forlan (No. 6)

Notable dropouts: Tim Howard (No. 1), Paul Pierce (No. 2), Patrick Kane (No. 4)