The defining feature of eukaryotic cells is the double lipid bilayer of the nuclear envelope (NE) that serves as a physical barrier separating the genome from the cytosol. Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) are embedded in the NE to facilitate transport of proteins and other macromolecules into and out of the nucleus. In fungi and early embryos where the NE does not completely breakdown during mitosis, microtubule-organizing centers such as the spindle pole body (SPB) must also be inserted into the NE to facilitate organization of the mitotic spindle. Several recent papers have shed light on the mechanism by which SPB complexes are inserted into the NE. An unexpected link between the SPB and NPCs suggests that assembly of these NE complexes is tightly coordinated. We review the findings of these reports in light of our current knowledge of SPB, NPC and NE structure, assembly and function.