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Ben Simmons hits out at the boo-boys after shock 76ers loss

Ben Simmons hit out at the boo-boys after he was the target of the fans’ jeers in the Philadelphia 76ers shock loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday.

The Sixers fell to a 111-102 defeat in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference round one playoff series despite being heavy favourites on home court.

It was a particularly tough evening for Simmons, who had just nine points and seven rebounds, and was loudly jeered after a missing a three-throw in the third quarter.

After the disappointing setback, a frustrated Simmons took aim at the dissenting voices.

“If you are going to boo, then stay on that side,” he said.

“That is how you feel. If you are a Sixers fan and going to boo, stay on that side.”

Team-mate Joel Embiid was reluctant to criticise the fanbase but says he can understand why some players would take exception.

“I love the fans and I never say anything about them. They show us love. It’s understandable. They come in, they pay a lot of money, they want the game to be entertaining. They want to watch us win so I understand why they boo,” Embiid said.

“But the fact that it’s after every single miss, when shots aren’t going to fall. Tonight they didn’t fall, but for me, I’m fine. I’ll play through anything.

“But for some guys it’s annoying. It can be annoying. It’s like every missed shot, you get booed so you get the next one and it’s kind of like, ‘should I shoot it or should I not because I’m about to get booed?’ I don’t know. Some guys are like that. It’s hard. I think we all got to do a better job.”

Jimmy Butler had no qualms with Simmons’ comments but can understand the fans’ discontent.

“He’s [Simmons] a grown man,” he said. “If that’s the way that he feels, that’s the way that he feels.

“They want to see us win – I want to see us win, too. In the end, I think we just gotta do better.

“I guarantee if we’re winning, they’re not booing, so that’s the way to change it.”

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Alibaba’s Tsai in deal for stake in NBA’s Brooklyn Nets

NEW YORK- Joseph Tsai, vice chairman of Chinese internet conglomerate Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, has struck a deal to buy a 49 percent stake in the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Reuters reported this month that Tsai was in advanced talks to buy a stake in the Nets, which Tsai subsequently denied.

The deal values the U.S. basketball team at around $2.3 billion(£1.75 billion), the sources, who declined to speak for attribution because they are not permitted to speak to the press, said.

Under the terms of the deal, Tsai would have the option to buy a controlling interest in the team in a few years, the sources said.

A spokeswoman for the Brooklyn Nets did not return a request for comment.

A deal would make the Brooklyn Nets the second NBA team to be worth more than $2 billion, demonstrating the increasing value of these teams as TV networks and advertisers pour money into live sports.

As more viewers choose to watch their favourite shows “on demand,” live sports still drive people to watch the games in real time – which is valued by advertisers who have time-sensitive promotions.

In September, American casino mogul Tilman Fertitta bought the Houston Rockets for $2.2 billion, the highest price ever paid for an NBA team, according to media reports.

(Anna Driver)