Yet the U.S. basketball team competing for Olympic gold have won over a city’s affections by taking public transport from the Olympic Park in London’s East End to the centre of the city where they are reportedly staying.
A photograph published in the Evening Standard, London’s main free newspaper, shows the likes of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and other members of the “Dream Team” smiling for the camera in a cramped train carriage.
It was not clear when the photograph was taken or exactly where, but it was almost identical to one posted on Monday on the Twitter account belonging to team member Chris Paul.
The Standard reported that the players, who enjoy A-list celebrity status back home, had posted pictures of themselves riding on the underground metro system, buses and trains.
“But the basketball giants are not the only U.S. stars to show a wholesome level of humility,” the newspaper wrote.
It added that U.S. world champion 400 metres hurdles runner Lashinda Demus, who qualified on Monday for the final, rode the 257 bus home each evening to her rented accommodation.
“I simply like riding on public transport,” the newspaper quoted her as saying. “It’s only a couple of stops to where I am staying.”