Proving that record-breaking is an endeavor fit for all, the last weekend in February provided quite a study in contrast for Guinness World Records events around the globe.
Most notably, while GWR editor-in-chief Craig Glenday traveled to Nepal to measure a new world's shortest man, I visited Orlando, Florida, USA, to meet instead with a lot of very, very tall men.
These were not just any tall men, but some of the most skilled professionals in the world: National Basketball Association all stars.
The occasion? Guinness World Records' annual trip to the NBA's All-Star Jam Session, a weekend-long fan and player festival surrounding the league's yearly exhibition pitting the best players from each conference against each other. This year's game took place in Orlando and the festivities resulted in plenty of record-breaking action.
The first record to fall actually fell twice within the span of an hour. Evan Turner (USA) of the Philadelphia 76ers started the activity with a record-setting 14 shots made from behind a backboard in one minute, earning a temporary moment in the sun.
But Turner's triumph wouldn't last long as, approximately 45 minutes later, Minnesota Timberwolves rookie sensation Ricky Rubio (Spain) hit 18 shots in a minute, including a finishing flurry of 15 in a row.
That would be the end of records broken by players on the weekend, proving that even the best players in the world are not guaranteed to hold world records. In particular, members of the East and West teams found no success attempting to establish a record for the most half court shots made in one minute by a team. Needing 11 buckets, a team of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rando, and Deron Williams came closest with seven successful baskets.
But records would continue to fall nonetheless.
One of my favorite sights from the weekend was watching a record broken for the "most between-the-legs basketball dunks by a team of mascots in one minute." The mascots included Sly (New Jersey Nets), Grizz (Memphis Grizzlies), Hooper (Detroit Pistons), Rufus Lynx (Charlotte Bobcats), and Coyote (San Antonio Spurs) with a successful 11 such trick slams in 60 seconds. The group was so happy with their success that yours truly even received a congratulatory kiss from Coyote.
The final two records to fall at this year's Jam Session resulted in some pretty cool sights, as well. Attempting to break his own record set at last year's event, festival emcee Michael Garcia (USA) donned jersey after jersey after jersey to hit a new mark for the "most professional NBA jerseys worn at once."
It took more than 6 minutes to achieve but Garcia was finally able to one-up last year's performance with a record 35 jerseys worn at once. The end result made Garcia quite literally three times the size he used to be.
And the last record to fall was truly a total fan experience. Garcia and his team took an oversized replica basketball around the Jam Session convention floor across the entire weekend, getting fans to apply their autographs toward the "most signatures on a piece of sports memorabilia."
Including former NBA stars Robert Horry and Chris Webber, as well as comedian and actor JB Smoove, a total of 515 signatures were collected on one of the more indelible keepsakes of the weekend.
Most of the world saw the All-Star Game played Sunday night, a tense affair that fittingly came down to the final possession. But for those who were there, it was obvious that the excitement had lasted all weekend long.