Special treatment for a special leader

What's a culturally appropriate way to welcome President Obama to Italy for the G8 summit? In preparation the visit of America's first black president, the Italians are making a little basket ball court for his enjoyment. 

Is he the emperor of the world, or is this some sort of nod toward his race?
There will be "local cuisine, ecological cars, and a basketball court for Obama," reports La Repubblica  

Then there is this report: "No luxuries for any leader except for this the basketball court that was purposely made to allow Obama, a self-avowed fan of the sport, to amuse himself during down time."

Am I alone in finding this slightly bizarre?