Archetypal Athletes24 Oct 2011
Here is a cool paper on the ArXiv about archetypal athletes. The basic idea is to look at a large number of variables for each player and identify multivariate outliers or extremes. These outliers are the archetypes talked about in the title.
According to his analysis the author claims the best players (for different reasons, i.e. different archetypes) in the NBA in 2009/2010 were: Taj Gibson, Anthony Morrow, and Kevin Durant. The best soccer players were Wayne Rooney, Leonel Messi, and Christiano Ronaldo.
Thanks to Andrew Jaffe for pointing out the article.