Of course they were! My current headcanon is that Nicholson is older (maybe around the same age than John?), and decided to help Scott make his place in the company when he arrived there! Scott was probably already an asshole, but maybe he wasn't that bad... Either way, Nicholson didn't care, 'cause he was just that awesome.
("Awww, look John, the new kid is being an jerk to everyone! He's trying to hard, it's adorable!"