Their travel itineraries brought them together. Their love of the game did the rest.

Nuggets coach George Karl remembers first getting to know Rick Majerus while working at the Pete Newell Big Man camp at Stanford University in 1986. They made an instant connection and their friendship blossomed over the next 25 years.

“We kind of ran into each other at the airport and rented a car together and hung out for about three days eating a lot and drinking a lot of beer,” Karl said after Nuggets practice Sunday.