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Morning links: Carpeted Mormon basketball; the making of Rudy Gobert; RSL stadium ranked

In an opinion story for Deadspin, Evan Hall writes about carpeted basketball courts in LDS churches.

He wrote, "American Mormons have a longstanding and well-documented relationship with basketball."

After speculating as to why many of the gyms were carpeted, he said, "They are a practical and cheap innovation in meetinghouse construction, but then they are also disarmingly weird, as the occasional non-Mormon who showed up to play pick-up with us could attest."

He continued, "But if the carpeted gym represents anything of importance, it’s that even dramatic changes to church meetinghouses won’t stop Mormons from playing basketball in them."

The making of Rudy Gobert

ESPN's Tim MacMahon looked at how the Utah Jazz helped Rudy Gobert become the player he is today.

After breaking down how the Gobert made plays on both ends of the floor to knock off the New Orleans Pelicans in a recent game, MacMahon wrote, "Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey believes a big man like Gobert, if he is committed to dominating with simplicity, can anchor a contender. And that's the plan he laid out to Gobert and his agent."

MacMahon then chronicled what the Jazz discussed with Gobert while working towards a contract extension, before looking at what he hoped the big man could do for them, saying, "the team's bottom-line goal was easy for Lindsey to summarize: They believe Gobert can dominate games as a role player."

MacMahon then looked at his path to the league and his growth before talking about his play today.

"Gobert is now the NBA's best defender by almost any measure, the frontrunner for defensive player of the year. He sits alone in first, by a wide margin, atop the defensive Real Plus-Minus standings. He's on pace to have more win shares in a season than any pure center since Dwight Howard in 2010-11."

Rio Tinto ranked a top 10 U.S. stadium for soccer

FourFourTwo ranked the top 20 stadiums for soccer in the U.S., and Real Salt Lake's home, Rio Tinto Stadium, cracked the list at No. 7.

Of the Stadium in Sandy, Utah, they wrote, "Real Salt Lake’s home ground represented MLS stadium evolution at work: As the league’s financial position slowly improved and owners became increasingly confident of their clubs’ long-term staying power, they got a little more dreamy and ambitious in stadium planning."