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Each Friday, The NBA A-Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt will take on a topic or topics from around the league to discuss. This week, they take on a couple of questions: 1. Did the fans get it right? 2. Can LeBron James one day become the NBA's all-time leading scorer?

OK, guys, the NBA All-Star game starters were announced on Thursday. Did the fans get it right? Why or why not?

Jeff: Fans invest time and money – not an insignificant investment – in attending and watching NBA games. They don't get a say in much, so I have no problem with fans picking All-Star starters. They pick who they want to see in the game and not always who is having an All-Star season. That is fine. It's then up to the coaches to put other deserving players in the game.

East backcourt: In general, no complaints. One can certainly argue that Philadelphia's Jrue Holiday and Cleveland's Kyrie Irving are having All-Star seasons. But Boston's Rajon Rondo is averaging a double-double (13 points, 11.2 assists) and 1.8 steals and the Celtics are starting to win. They are above .500, something the Sixers and Cavaliers are not, and something must be said for All-Stars who help their team win.

Since the category is backcourt and not point guard and shooting guard, you wouldn't be wrong if you wanted two point guards to start. However, Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade is having a fine season – 20.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game, and he is shootings 50.6% from the field. This season, he is the best two guard at this point in the season and is worth of another All-Star start.

East frontcourt: Miami's LeBron James and New York's Carmelo Anthony – not much to say here. Both are All-Stars and MVP candidates.

The fans wanted to see Boston's Kevin Garnett in the All-Star, but he's not an All-Star starter this season. By traditional and advanced statistics, several big men are having better seasons: Brooklyn's Brook Lopez, New York's Tyson Chandler, Miami's Chris Bosh. Chicago's Joakim Noah is right there, too.

My choice: Lopez. For all the attention on Brooklyn's backcourt at the start of the season, Lopez has carried the Nets with his offense and defense, including improved rebounding numbers on both ends. It's fact: the Nets are a better team on both ends of the court with Lopez, and it's not close. The Nets paid him All-Star money, and he has delivered.

West backcourt: The West is loaded with guards, and I would be fine with several combinations. But fans got this right. Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul is the league's best point guard, and Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, with hundreds of thousands of miles on those wheels, is having one of his finest seasons. He is taking more shots per game (21.9) than any player in the league

Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, Houston's James Harden and the Clippers' Jamal Crawford, San Antonio's Tony Parker and Golden State's Stephen Curry will force the coaches to make tough decisions on reserves at that position.

West frontcourt: Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant is a no-brainer. I'm fine with the Clippers' Blake Griffin, but I'd also have no problem with Memphis' Zach Randolph, Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge or Golden State's David Lee. Griffin's Player Efficiency Rating (PER) is better than those three, and his scoring, rebound and shooting numbers are just as good, given he plays 32 minutes per game on a quality team.

The fans wanted Dwight Howard, they got Howard. He's not an All-Star this season. That's not a knock on him, but he has been bothered by lingering issues from back surgery and he has struggled to find his role, at times, with the Lakers. He is getting better with his new teammates, but he is not having an All-Star season. San Antonio Spurs big man Tim Duncan is, at 36 years old – 17. 1 points. 9.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 30.1 minutes a game, and he ranks first among power forwards in PER.

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Sam: You're getting soft on me in your old age, Jeff. Sure, the fans invest the time and the money, but it would still be nice if they picked the most deserving team.

Thankfully they didn't do the unthinkable and vote Houston's Jeremy Lin onto the team, in which case my contribution here would have been an endless stream of exclamation points. But there's just no rational, basketball-centric way to explain Bryant being a starter over Westbrook. Make no mistake, I have great regard for the season Kobe has had, but his team has been in shambles most of the season. Meanwhile, Westbrook is having the most well-rounded season of his career for a Thunder team that lost the guy who some saw as their second-best player (Harden) and is still dominating.

The other blunder - as you noted - is Howard getting the start over Duncan. No way, no how. The reserves will be interesting. Westbrook and Harden are musts from the backcourt, and I'm admittedly torn on the Crawford-Parker-Curry front. If I had to pick one from that group, I'd go with Parker. In the frontcourt, I'm alright with Griffin getting the nod over Randolph because of team success.

As for the East, I'm good with everything but the Garnett pick. Talk about grandfathering a guy in. The 36-year-old should be behind the likes of Lopez, Chandler, Bosh and Noah on this list (and, yes, that's my personal order of ranking). Cleveland's Anderson Varejao was on pace to join this group but his injury (recent leg surgery on a split muscle) takes him out of the running.

Picking reserves - as I mentioned in a piece looking at this last month - will be tough.

PHOTOS: Your 2013 NBA All-Star Game starting lineups

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LeBron James became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 20,000 career points. Can he eventually become the league's all-time leading scorer?

Jeff: LeBron James has been mainly injury free. That's where all this starts. In eight, 82-game seasons, James has never played in less than 74 games. He has played 95.5% of possible games in his career, including last season's lockout-shortened season. So, let's try to extrapolate, which is often a tricky proposition.

Given today's advances in diet, training and recovery, let's say James plays eight more seasons, plus 40 more games this season. At his rate, that's another 664 games. To account for a minor injury here and there, let's knock that down another 20 games. So, let's say James has 644 games left.

For his career, James averages 27.6 points. But that will be difficult to maintain in the final years of his career. However, he still has prime years left. He's just 28 years old. He might have some seasons in the next four, five years where he averages more than that. Anyone have a problem with saying James finishes his career at about 26 points per game? Keep in mind, that's higher than Kobe Bryant's career scoring average of 25.5.

At 26 points per game in 644 games, that's 16,744 more points. Tack that onto the 20,046 points he has now, and that's 36,790 points, still 1,597 points shy of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record of 38,387, and 138 points shy of Karl Malone for second on the all-time scoring list.

What if James decides to play another nine seasons or 10? At the end of the 2022-23 season, James would be 38 years old. Will he play that long? Does he want to play that long? How important is the scoring record to him? Without question, he is in great physical shape and takes great care of his body. If James wants to play nine more seasons – he would start the 2021-2022 season at 36 years old and finish it at 37 -- the record is definitely within reach.

There are too many variables to say definitively he will finish his career atop the all-time scoring list. But he is in perfect position at this point in his career to make a serious run at Abdul-Jabbar's record.

Sam: Since Jeff broke down the math component, let's take a peek at the mental part of James' game and the rest of his career. As anyone who has paid attention is well aware, he prefers being a more-dominating version of Magic Johnson than he does Michael Jordan in terms of style of play.

That had everything to do with the decision to come to Miami, where his scoring has dipped from his Cleveland days because of the much-improved supporting cast that surrounds him. Whether he re-signs in Miami or pulls the once-unthinkable and heads back to Cleveland or elsewhere when he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2014 when he has a player option for the following season, James will continue to want to play with high-level talent around him that he can make better.That, ultimately, will lead to him not breaking the record.

As Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and James' teammates made so clear in my "A to Z" column this week, he's more than capable of being the best scorer the game has ever seen. But because it's not his makeup, or his first priority, the scoring record won't be part of his resume'.

Read the NBA A-Z insider column from USA TODAY Sports' Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt at nba.usatoday.com. Send the guys feedback and ideas to @sam_amick and @JeffZillgitt.

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