Berry Tramel
Sports Columnist and Reporter

Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist.

Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman, the Oklahoma City Times, the Norman Transcript and the Oklahoma Journal — and entered the newspaper business at the age of 17, with the Transcript in 1978. His first game assignment was the Lexington-Elmore City high school football game, and he has enjoyed the journey ever since, from high school wrestling duals and regional track meets to Orange Bowls and the NBA playoffs.

Tramel was born and raised in Norman, Okla. He and his wife, Tricia, were married in 1980 and live in Norman near their daughter, son-in-law and three granddaughters.


  • Thunder roster is loaded; now it's up to Durant and Westbrook

    Thunder roster is loaded; now it\'s up to Durant...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Tue, May 31, 2016

    When the Thunder was on the cusp of a second major upset, on the verge of eliminating the Warriors two weeks after knocking off the Spurs, Durant and Westbrook didn’t produce.

  • The Thunder will regret Game 6, not 7

    The Thunder will regret Game 6, not 7

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Updated: 9 hr ago

    OAKLAND, Calif. — You thought Oracle Arena might lose its lid, and the Thunder its composure, when Steph Curry hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the first quarter Monday night. Same when Klay Thompson went nuts in the second quarter, draining four 3-pointers in a four-minute span that cut into a 13-point Thunder lead. Definitely when the Warriors made 3-pointers on four straight possessions in the third quarter that wiped out the last lead of this Thunder season.

  • Thunder Report Card: Grading the Thunder's 96-88 loss to Golden State in Game 7

    Thunder Report Card: Grading the Thunder\'s...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Yesterday

    The Thunder played hard and mostly smart, if not always well, and the grades reflect a performance that was laudable, if not impressive, in difficult circumstances: THIRD-QUARTER OFFENSE: F. The Thunder was in reasonably good shape at halftime, leading 48-42. But in the third quarter, the Thunder went from missing good shots to not getting good shots. OKC made just five of 19 shots in the period, including 0-of-7 from 3-point range. Few of those misses were good looks. The Thunder also committed three turnovers. Kevin Durant made two of five shots in the quarter. His teammates made three of 16. In 20 third-quarter possessions, the Thunder scored 12 points. That's where the game was lost. 3-POINT DEFENSE: C.

  • Thunder players face the hardest game of their basketball lives

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Sun, May 29, 2016

    How hard is a Game 7? How hard will be this winner-take-all showdown for the Western Conference championship? Even the team with all the momentum, and all the favor of home court advantage, and all the confidence from winning not just an NBA-record 73 regular-season games but a character-defining Game 6 in the Oklahoma City fiery furnace, sees Game 7 as a major mountain to climb.

  • GAME 7 FACTS

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com Staff  | Published: Sun, May 29, 2016

    HOME DOMINANCE Home teams are 100-24 all-time in Game 7's. * In the last 12 Game 7's, the road team has won just once — the Nets went to overtime to beat the Raptors 104-103 in Toronto, in the 2014 East first round. * This season, three series have gone to Game 7. The Heat beat the Hornets 106-73 in the East first round, the Raptors beat the Pacers 89-84 in the East first round and the Raptors beat the Heat 116-89 in the East semifinals.   RECENT HISTORY The core of this Thunder and this Golden State team has played a combined three Game 7's. 2011 West semifinals: the Thunder beat the Grizzlies 105-90 in OKC. 2014 West first round: the Clippers beat the Warriors 126-121 in Los Angeles.

  • Epic collapse by Durant & Westbrook forces Game 7

    Epic collapse by Durant & Westbrook forces Game 7

    By Berry Tramel Column btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Sun, May 29, 2016

    Chesapeake Arena was ready to explode all night. Heck, not just the arena. The whole danged city. The entire state. Oklahomans were on edge before the game, awaiting a game that could put the Thunder in the NBA Finals, then were on the edge, ready to erupt, as the Thunder led the mighty Warriors most of Game 6 Saturday night. But Golden State kept it close. Klay Thompson kept making 3-pointers, or Andre Roberson — Andre Roberson! — would pick up a foul that threatened to ruin the Thunder's chances, or Kevin Durant would miss a shot you'd have bet your paycheck he would make. Trepidation settled in. Then it morphed into horror. The Thunder led by seven points with five minutes left but started struggling, and

  • Report card: Grading the Thunder's performance in Game 6

    Report card: Grading the Thunder\'s performance...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Sat, May 28, 2016

    What could have been a historic night for the Thunder turned into a harrowing night. The Thunder squandered a late lead, collapsed in the final two minutes and lost 108-101 in Game 6 Saturday night. The grades reflect a loss that could live long in Thunder lore. THREE-POINT DEFENSE: C. Seems crazy to give this high of a grade on a night when Golden State made 21 of 44 3-pointers, including 17 of 31 from sharpshooters Klay Thompson and Steph Curry. But the Thunder actually didn't leave them free much. Both made deep and/or tough shots. The Thunder has to get out on them more, but it wasn't like Thompson and Curry found all kinds of space. OKC made it tough on them at times. Still, the fourth quarter was not good.

  • Thunder has flipped the script against Golden State

    Thunder has flipped the script against Golden...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Fri, May 27, 2016

    The Thunder enters its biggest game since the 2012 NBA Finals full of pride and confidence. You could tell even after Game 5, the way the Thunder high-fived each other and smiled confidently. OKC brought its A effort, just not its A game, and you get the feeling the Thunder believes both will be in attendance Saturday at Chesapeake Arena.

  • Warriors go big to stay alive vs. Thunder

    Warriors go big to stay alive vs. Thunder

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Fri, May 27, 2016

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The game was not yet a minute old when Russell Westbrook drove into the lane for the first time. Westbrook being Westbrook, he went straight to the basket. And a big man was there to greet him. Andrew Bogut stood his ground and caused Westbrook to loft a shot from just in front of the rim, rather than get to the comfort of the backboard. The ball hit the iron, bounced off and was grabbed by Bogut. Westbrook being Westbrook, he immediately stole the ball from Bogut. Alone on the baseline, Westbrook went up for an easy 10-footer. Except here came the 7-foot Bogut to contest the shot. It, too, bounced off. Welcome to the Thunder's world Thursday night. With a chance to close out the Western Conference

  • Thunder's buy-in to Billy Donovan is paying off

    Thunder\'s buy-in to Billy Donovan is paying off

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Wed, May 25, 2016

    Donovan, a hugely successful college coach at Florida but whose NBA experience was comprised of 44 games as a Knickerbocker backup point guard almost 30 years ago, has earned the trust of his troops.

  • Thunder exacts the ultimate revenge on Draymond Green

    Thunder exacts the ultimate revenge on Draymond...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Wed, May 25, 2016

    Draymond Green drove in for a meaningless layup, a chance to pad a starving stat line in the final minutes of another Thunder blowout, and Kevin Durant jumped up for a ferocious block. While the rest of the ballplayers scampered downcourt, Durant turned and dramatically pumped his fist into the air. Durant likely would have preferred a different target, but as an exclamation point in what became a 118-94, Game 4 rout of the mighty Warriors, it will do. The Thunder not only took a commanding 3-1 lead Tuesday night in these Western Conference finals, it reminded of the ultimate answer for revenge. Live well. An angry Chesapeake Arena crowd demanded blood in the wake of the NBA not suspending Green for his below-the-belt

  • HITTING WHERE IT HURTS: Low blows have become more prevalent in the NBA

    HITTING WHERE IT HURTS: Low blows have become...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com   | Updated: Mon, May 23, 2016

    Two straight games with direct hits on your manhood will make anyone carry themselves a little more gingerly.

  • Donovan's reliance on small ball kick starts Thunder rout

    Donovan\'s reliance on small ball kick starts...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Mon, May 23, 2016

    Draymond Green again kicked Steven Adams in the family jewels, Chesapeake Arena erupted in anger, the legislature convened on the fly to remove Patrick Beverley from Public Enemy No. 1 status and soon enough the Thunder retaliated by kicking the Golden State Warriors in the you-know-what. But don't go thinking that rage was the dynamite that kick-started the Thunder's stunning 133-105 rout of Golden State on Sunday night that gives OKC a 2-1 series lead in the Western Conference finals. Billy Donovan did that with his lineup. Donovan flipped the script. The Thunder's strength is size. OKC can bully a smallish team like the Warriors and did in a Game 1 upset.

  • Thunder Report Card: Grading OKC's 133-105 win over Golden State in Game 3

    Thunder Report Card: Grading OKC\'s 133-105 win...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Sun, May 22, 2016

    The Thunder got ahead early and then played even better. The result was a resounding blowout of Golden State, 133-105, that gives OKC a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference finals, and the grades reflect a superb performance. SECOND-QUARTER DEFENSE: A. The Warriors were playing decent basketball for awhile. They made 14 of their first 25 shots. Then the Thunder defense got ferocious. Golden State made just six of 31 shots in the second quarter. That's 19 percent. Warriors coach Steve Kerr blamed it on quick shots and impatience. Maybe so. Golden State made just two of 11 3-pointers in the second quarter. But even when the Warriors were getting in the lane, their shots weren't going in. Golden State in the second quarter made

  • Russell Westbrook vs. Steph Curry: May this series never end

    Russell Westbrook vs. Steph Curry: May this...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Sat, May 21, 2016

    Lay aside strategy and emotions and ramifications. Ponder, if you can, just how special it is to see a fortnight of duels with the NBA’s must-watch stars, Westbrook and Curry, in action.

  • Thunder must make Warriors pay for gimmick defense

    Thunder must make Warriors pay for gimmick defense

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Thu, May 19, 2016

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Remember basketball's old box-and-one defense? One defender played man-to-man defense, typically on a star, and the rest of the team played zone. The Golden State Warriors are doing the opposite against the Thunder. Four defenders play man-to-man, one plays zone. The Warriors' Draymond Green is ignoring Andre Roberson, just as San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard did in the latter stages of the Thunder-Spurs series. But don't indict Golden State coach Steve Kerr for theft of intellectually property. Kerr has added a twist. He's not having Green stay in the lane and clog the drives and passes of the Thunder ballhandlers. Kerr is having Green roam to cause mayhem. Double-teaming Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook, 25,

  • The Thunder has concerns beyond the Stephen Curry flurry that decided Game 2

    The Thunder has concerns beyond the Stephen...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Thu, May 19, 2016

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The Thunder mainstays sat dejectedly on the bench for most of the fourth quarter Wednesday night, watching the Warriors finish off an 118-91 rout that evened the series 1-1. They trudged off the Oracle Arena court facing not just a midnight flight back home, but knowing they would have to solve a Golden State riddle three more times to reach the NBA Finals. They talked about how they can play better and smarter and harder back in Oklahoma City. But what has to alarm the Thunder is this. The Thunder played good defense, really good defense, on Steph Curry most of the game. They roughed him up and had him frustrated. They made him work. They didn't give him an abundance of shots. And yet Curry

  • Thunder report card: The grades reflect a poor Thunder performance

    Thunder report card: The grades reflect a poor...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Wed, May 18, 2016

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The Thunder was close early, even took the lead for 12 seconds in the second quarter, but eventually was swamped by the Warriors, 118-91 in a Game 2 rout that evened the Western Conference Finals. The grades reflect a poor Thunder performance. DEFENSIVE REBOUNDING: F. Through three quarters, the Warriors had missed 36 shots or retrievable foul shots. Golden State rebounded 17 of those 36 shots. The Thunder's rebounding was atrocious. It was outscored 15-5 in second-chance points. In particular, the Thunder was dominated in the first half. The Warriors scored on their final seven possessions of the first half, and two of those trips came courtesy of Festus Ezeli follow shots. SMALL LINEUP: D.

  • OKC Thunder's defensive uprising a product of will

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Tue, May 17, 2016

    The Thunder has grown defensive fangs, to the point where the Warriors made just six of 23 fourth-quarter shots in Game 1, because of old-fashioned effort. The Thunder has dedicated itself to playing defense. Trying harder. Running harder. Getting back to prevent easy shots.

  • Thunder's Steve Adams comes up big in Game 1 stunner over Warriors

    Thunder\'s Steve Adams comes up big in Game 1...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Tue, May 17, 2016

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The Thunder led by a solitary point, one minute remained in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals and Russell Westbrook drove the lane and tossed the ball in Steven Adams' general direction. It wasn't one of Westbrook's finer lobs. Adams got a hand on the ball to keep it alive, then ran it down with a hustling recovery near the top of the key. The shot clock wasn't in danger of expiring, but Adams was not covered. So he did something no one expected him to do. Adams dribbled, with force, into the paint. Why would Stone Cold do such a thing? “Honestly, no idea,” Adams said. “No idea. That could have went absolutely tragic.” It didn't end tragically. It ended magically.




Berry Tramel Tue, May. 31 2016 09:04:57 PM CST OKC Thunder journal: Thunder-Warriors highest rated NBA cable telecast of all-time https://t.co/FAoDvdAP03
Berry Tramel Tue, May. 31 2016 09:04:57 PM CST Thunder roster is loaded; now it's up to Durant and Westbrook https://t.co/EAzTYvbbHr
Berry Tramel Tue, May. 31 2016 03:08:56 PM CST Memorial Day in San Francisco's Marina District https://t.co/mqeAaaz9Fp
Berry Tramel Tue, May. 31 2016 12:41:39 PM CST Numbers from Warriors series are promising for the Thunder https://t.co/3uWR9HQfH3
Berry Tramel Tue, May. 31 2016 01:07:50 AM CST The Thunder will regret Game 6, not 7 https://t.co/oPyeIOr5jY
Berry Tramel Tue, May. 31 2016 12:04:54 AM CST Thunder Report card: Grading the Thunder's 96-88 loss to Golden State in Game 7 https://t.co/EpVyVXcXfH
Berry Tramel Mon, May. 30 2016 06:54:38 PM CST Oakland travelblog: Saline Creek & late-night podcast https://t.co/8BYJBOsrdW
Berry Tramel Sun, May. 29 2016 07:06:30 PM CST GAME 7 FACTS https://t.co/gRrSUY8tgl
Berry Tramel Sun, May. 29 2016 07:06:30 PM CST Thunder players face the hardest game of their basketball lives https://t.co/XNIHNiz4w3
Berry Tramel Sun, May. 29 2016 02:02:03 AM CST Epic collapse by Durant & Westbrook forces Game 7 https://t.co/pD0dJRZ9NE
Berry Tramel Sun, May. 29 2016 02:02:03 AM CST Report card: Grading the Thunder's performance in Game 6 https://t.co/VxFeCC0saB
Berry Tramel Fri, May. 27 2016 08:49:06 PM CST OKC Thunder journal: Billy Donovan leaves Draymond Green's continued kicking in NBA's hands https://t.co/rCwZVZ0ZvX
Berry Tramel Fri, May. 27 2016 07:03:44 PM CST Thunder has flipped the script against Golden State https://t.co/1NhYGM4N8V
Berry Tramel Fri, May. 27 2016 02:23:45 PM CST Did foul shot discrepancy cost Thunder in Game 5? https://t.co/I98snXlEbk
Berry Tramel Fri, May. 27 2016 12:07:24 PM CST Oakland travelblog: The views from Coit Tower https://t.co/Ab7w5Bj9Lx
Berry Tramel Fri, May. 27 2016 10:57:58 AM CST The two reasons why Baylor fired Art Briles https://t.co/XJsHf7L4nq
Berry Tramel Fri, May. 27 2016 12:37:25 AM CST Warriors go big to stay alive vs. Thunder https://t.co/AcmJKl1ZHp
Berry Tramel Thu, May. 26 2016 07:14:35 PM CST If Steph Curry is 70 percent, how do you explain Game 2? https://t.co/kySitCSwIz
Berry Tramel Thu, May. 26 2016 02:22:46 PM CST Oakland travelblog: Working on little sleep https://t.co/eXUpNR6CId
Berry Tramel Thu, May. 26 2016 07:12:22 AM CST Steve Kerr says Warriors' psyche isn't damaged https://t.co/ZJLcQRkvaJ

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