Free Association

A weekly Sports, Recreation and Professional podcast
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Episodes of Free Association

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The L.A. Lakers are NBA champions. JD and Donnovan kick things off discussing whether a fourth title for LeBron James impacts the G.O.A.T. debate and his podium comments, offering their insights on some of his choice words he had. The they then look toward next season. Which teams project to challenge for the Larry OB? […]
JD and Donnovan preview the NBA Finals, LeBron’s 10th appearance. They kick things off contextualizing LeBron’s legacy and why we may be taking King James for granted before discussing reasons to be impressed by the Miami Heat and how much this team mirrors the 2019 Raptors championship team. The boys finish things off with their […]
JD and Donnovan start things off discussing why the conference finals have become harder to watch as a Raptors fan and what could have been had Kawhi stayed in Toronto. Then they break down what the future may hold for Masai Ujiri, including why it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he moves […]
With the Raptors’ season over, JD and Donnovan wrap the campaign and answer some burning questions. First, the elephant in the room: Pascal Siakam’s sub-par playoff run. Will he ever be a No. 1 option on a championship team, and will his struggles actually help him develop into a better player? Then they discuss the […]
Donnovan and JD react to the Raptors’ double-overtime, Game 6 victory over the Celtics. They discuss Kyle Lowry’s heroism, “Playoff Powell” showing up, the two-way play of OG Anunoby and Nick Nurse going small. Then they look ahead to Game 7 and have a fun debate over what Lowry’s Scotiabank Arena statue will look like. […]
Donnovan and JD react to the Raptors’ Game 2 loss to the Celtics, discussing their emotions on the heels of a blistering fourth quarter from Marcus Smart, whose five consecutive three-pointers were reminiscent of Stephen Curry. They then talk about Pascal Siakam’s miscast role in crunch-time, disappearing acts by Norman Powell and Marc Gasol, and […]
Donnovan is joined by Yasmin Duale of Dishes & Dimes and Raptors in-arena voice Mark “Strizzzy” Strong to discuss the boycotts across sports in support of Black Lives Matter, living as a Black person in 2020 and what they’d like to see from leagues and people to help usher in real societal change. For more […]
The Raptors are through to Round 2 with their first-ever series sweep after dropping 150 points on the Nets in Game 4. Next up: the Celtics, who are coming off a convincing sweep of the 76ers themselves. Donnovan and JD preview the series. What does a potential Kyle Lowry injury mean to Toronto’s fortunes? Should […]
JD is joined by Vivek Jacob — in for the vacationing Donnovan — to react to the Raptors’ Game 1 victory over the Nets. They also discuss Pascal Siaikm’s future as a No. 1 option on offence and Fred VanVleet’s performance in a contract year before potentially jinxing everything by looking ahead to Round 2. […]
With meaningful seeding games in the Raptors’ rear-view mirror, JD and Donnovan grade Toronto’s performance in the bubble to date and discuss how turnover woes contrast with stalwart defensive chemistry. Then it’s question time: Which team in the East poses the biggest threat to the Raps? Not surprisingly, the guys disagree. Then — breaking news! […]
JD and Donnovan break down the Raptors’ stellar performance against the Lakers and grind-it-out win versus Heat, with praise for Kyle Lowry, OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet. Then they discuss the team’s progressiveness, the professionalism of Chris Paul and why contending teams may end up wishing they had made the move to acquire Paul’s services. […]
JD and Donnovan kick things off discussing the look, feel and sounds of NBA scrimmage broadcasts and how the Raptors have looked in their first two exhibition games, including fitness levels and some praise for the marked improvements made by X-factor OG Anunoby. Then they revisit the importance of the No. 2 seed in the […]
JD and Donnovan begin talking about candles. (Yes, you read that correctly.) thanks the gifts Drake left for the Raptors in the NBA bubble, and — to the surprise of no one — Donnovan reveals he has a candle guy. The boys then fan a different flame featuring some fun Raptors talk around a Nick […]
JD and Donnovan open the pod asking: Would the 2019 Duke Blue Devils beat the bubble iteration of the Brooklyn Nets? Then they discuss early complaints from players in Orlando before detailing reports of players not taking the bubble seriously enough and why in Florida — the current hottest of hot spots in the U.S. […]
The NBA has announced approved social-justice messaging on the back of jerseys and JD and Donnovan begin with a discussion of whether the idea truly captures the meaning of the protest movement. They also speak to limitations and debate where the various lines will be drawn concerning the approval of custom messaging. The protocols in […]
The NBA has finalized its return-to-play schedule and JD and Donnovan begin with a discussion of the long road travelled, praising the role LeBron James played in the process and his off-court impact. Then they debate whether the extended break helps or hurts the Raptors’ chances. Donnovan outlines why Toronto will benefit from the AAU-style […]
JD and Donnovan discuss the latest concerning the NBA’s return with thousands of new COVID-19 cases on the books in Florida. Players have to report by June 24, so should so many teams have been included or would jumping right into the playoffs have been better? They also debate which personnel should actually be in […]
JD and Donnovan talk about the weekend’s developments in which Kyrie Irving and others voiced their concerns over the NBA returning during the current socio-political climate and how a healthy league can empower player voices for years to come. The also discuss the precedent that a return-to-play decision will set and debate the fate of […]
It’s official… the NBA is back! JD and Donnovan offer up their opinions on the format to end the 2020 season and the level of play they expect to see in Orlando when games resume July 31. They also talk about the fountain of youth Marc Gasol seems to have fallen into, and why the […]
This episode, JD and Donnovan focus on something much more important than sports — social justice. They discuss marginalized communities being mistreated in the U.S. and Canada, and protests that have erupted in cities across North America in recent days. They then offer their perspectives on what it truly means to be an ally during […]
JD and Donnovan kick things off discussing options on the table around the NBA’s return as reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania. They play armchair commissioner, addressing how a single-site — say, Orlando/Disney World — would eliminate home-court advantage and offer some rather creative solutions. They close things out debating whether there will be an […]
The last episode of “The Last Dance” is out and Donnovan and JD are all over it. Where do Reggie Miller and Karl Malone stand in the pantheon of NBA greats? Could the Bulls could have won a seventh title in nine years had the roster been kept together? JD’s got a take on Dennis […]
JD and Donnovan kick things off discussing what they learned from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s weekend conference call and place a bet on the league’s return date as (some) teams slowly ease back into holding practices. Then they dive into Episodes 7 and 8 of The Last Dance, including Gary Payton guarding Michael Jordan, MJ’s […]
JD and Donnovan unravel Episodes 5 and 6 of “The Last Dance,” dissecting the relationship between Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, media coverage of Jordan’s gambling, his stance on social justice, his Nike deal and more. This episode is recorded and sound designed by Michael Mayers and hosted Donnovan Bennett and JD Bunkis.  Audio Credits: NBA, 1987 […]
JD and Donnovan deconstruct Episodes 3 and 4 of The Last Dance, breaking down the narrative focussing on Dennis Rodman and Phil Jackson. JD also rattles off some rapid-fire questions and takeaways, spurring a spirited discussion comparing player animosity today to that of the ’90s. Plus, how the doc is inspiring current players to get […]
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Podcast Details

Created by
Podcast Status
Apr 9th, 2015
Latest Episode
Oct 12th, 2020
Release Period
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour

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