Reunions are all the rage across the league these days, with some more surprising than others. Flip Saunders has taken over as president of basketball operations in Minnesota eight years after the Timberwolves fired him as head coach. Larry Bird has returned to Indiana’s front office after a year away, and Kurt Rambis has been talking to the Los Angeles Lakers about returning to the bench as an assistant coach under Mike D’Antoni.

Chauncey Billups signed with the Detroit Pistons, the team that he led to a title in 2004 and then traded him four years later. And Metta World Peace is joining the New York Knicks 14 years after they passed on the local St. John’s star in the 1999 NBA draft.

“He’s really excited to be joining his hometown team,” said his agent Marc Cornstein. “That’s obviously been something that’s been a dream of his since growing up in Queensbridge.”

In many of those cases, the key to the reunion lies in how both sides handled the initial exits. Firings and trades in the NBA often can be about more than simply business. Feelings are hurt. Egos are bruised. Bridges aren’t just burned, they’re vaporized.

Reported by Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press