USA 'Dream Team' spotted on the Tube as giants lower themselves to commuting with the rest of us

 

If MTV's Cribs is to be believed all top flight American sports stars are chauffeured around in Limousines or at least cruise the streets in their customised top-spec Hummers. During the 2012 Games though, it seems Team USA's basketball squad are living by the old adage of 'when in Rome...' and are slumming it with the best of us on London's public transport system.

Multi-millionaire NBA basketballers LeBron James and Kobe Bryant led the way as the Americans swapped their chauffeur-driven cars for London’s public transport system — posting pictures of themselves riding on Tubes, buses and trains.

James has an £11 million-a-year deal with the Miami Heat and lucrative sponsorship deals with Nike and Coca-Cola but rode the late night express Javelin service from Stratford’s Olympic Park to St Pancras alongside one of America’s biggest stars, Kobe Bryant — who happily high-fived fellow travellers and handed out US Olympic souvenirs — and the rest of the Dream Team.

Bryant, 32, who has a fan in President Obama and is on a multi-million dollar contract with the LA Lakers, already has a gold medal from Beijing. His is one of the most recognisable faces in sport-loving America.

The basketball team were heading home to their central London hotel as, unlike the majority of athletes, they prefer not to stay overnight in the village. But the basketball giants are not the only US stars to show a wholesome level of humility.

USA 400m hurdles gold medal prospect Lashinda Demus rides the 257 bus home each night to her rented accommodation, close to Leytonstone High Road. She sat among discarded food cartons and drink containers at 1am after winning her heat.

The world champion and US record holder said: “I simply like riding on public transport. Its only a couple of stops to where I am staying.”

Each night, with her husband Jamel Mayrant and their young twin sons, she boards the bus  at Westfield for the short journey home.

Many of the athletes cramming onto the overstretched public transport network have helped bring some Olympic spirit to commuters.

Team GB members were seen waiting for east-bound trains at Mile End while Rwandan athletes were spotted waiting patiently for a train at Shoreditch High Street overground station.

One of the biggest thrills for those not fortunate enough to witness the Olympic events first hand was when Venezuelan fencer Ruben Limardo Gascón boarded a DLR carriage with his gold medal around his neck.

When the Olympics are over on Sunday evening that Monday morning commute may return to normality, but for some workers the journey will always be tinged with golden memories of the time the world’s greatest sporting stars blended in.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before