LeBron James is the most controversial player in the NBA.

But James earned that reputation for his off-the-court political antics.

Now LeBron James started an on-court brawl and you won’t believe what happened next.

On Sunday night, the struggling Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Detroit Pistons 121-116 in Detroit.

But the big news coming out of the game was the brawl James instigated with 9:18 remaining in the third quarter when James cracked Pistons forward Isaiah Stewart in the face with an elbow.

James whacking Stewart in the face looked like no accident.

Stewart certainly did not think so and the entire Pistons team had to restrain Stewart from charging after James and turning up the volume on this fight to 11.

Both players were sure to get suspended.

But when the league handed down the discipline, the NBA only suspended LeBron James for one game even though Stewart got two games.

James instigated the fight by elbowing Stewart in the face and busting him open.

Stewart responded to James’ unprovoked attack.

Everyone’s known for years that the NBA is a star-driven league.

But fans and media figured that meant the refs didn’t apply traveling rules to top players like James and let them take three steps instead of two so they could create highlight reel dunks.

No one thought the league looking the other way meant star players got away with malicious assault.

The Lakers and the Pistons play again this Sunday night in Los Angeles.

All eyes will be on Stewart to see if there is any payback.

Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date with any new developments in this ongoing story.