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.


  • ALL IN THE FAMILY: Thunder has been the most successful of the many Spurs spinoffs

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Fri, Apr 29, 2016

    The Thunder and Spurs meet for a third time in the playoffs. The Western Conference semifinals start Saturday night in San Antonio, and it’s all in the family again.

  • OKC Thunder: Spurs spinoffs

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Fri, Apr 29, 2016

    SAN ANTONIO SPINOFFS Replicating success is a hallmark of sports management. And television. In the NBA, other franchises frequently have raided the San Antonio Spurs for executives and coaches to transplant the Spurs' culture, in the same way that TV raided Norman Lear's classic “All in the Family” to establish new comedies. Here we give the Spurs' spinoffs an “All in the Family” counterpart: THUNDER/THE JEFFERSONS Thunder: Clay Bennett, former chairman of the Spurs' board of governors, got his own franchise in the Seattle SuperSonics in 2006. Bennett hired young Sam Presti, the Spurs' assistant general manager, and moved the team to Oklahoma City in 2008, with a civic ownership group similar to San Antonio's.

  • How will Scotty Brooks fare with the Washington Wizards?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: 14 hr ago

    For the Friday Oklahoman, I wrote about Scotty Brooks and the Washington Wizards, a column which you can read here. But lots of good stuff went unsaid in that column about Brooks’ hiring in D.C. Time to share. Wizards owner Ted Leonsis raved about Brooks. “He was in demand because of his record, and so we moved quickly, although I don’t want anyone to think we didn’t know who he was,” Leonsis said. “We certainly had been studying for years and years. You always have to do your Plan B planning.

  • OKC Thunder journal: Kevin Durant gives his scouting report of the Spurs' defense

    By Erik Horne and Berry Tramel | Published: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    According to basketball-reference.com, the Spurs’ 99.0 defensive rating is the 11th best in the league since 1973. The Spurs held the Thunder to 98.3 ppg in four meetings, 11.9 points below OKC’s season average.

  • Eastern Conference providing best drama in NBA playoffs

    Berry Tramel | Yesterday

    Remember when the Western Conference playoffs were can’t-miss TV? When the East was like watching inferior basketball? You didn’t have to plan your night around the NBA playoffs. Go to dinner, go to a movie, go to church. Didn’t matter. You wouldn’t miss much. And when you got home, there would be a great Western Conference game to get your basketball fix. Not this season. The Western Conference playoffs are a dud, and even the semifinals figure to be only halfway worth watching. Thirty-eight NBA playoff games have been staged so far. Of those 38, only 13 finished within single digits. In other words, 25 games have been blowouts or well-in-hand games by the end. And the West is responsible.

  • What was Mark Cuban really talking about?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    From the Chesapeake Arena sidelines some 60 minutes before Game 5 Monday night, Mark Cuban declined to bestow superstar status on Russell Westbrook. Soon enough, Westbrook dropped an epic stat line on Dallas (36 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists) and Kevin Durant delivered the now-famous line “he’s a idiot” about the Mavs owner. Call it a Cuban sandwich. Lost in the ridicule surrounding Cuban’s statement was his actual definition. Cuban gave a reason for his theory. Some have speculated that Cuban’s master plan was to get into Westbrook’s head. I don’t buy it. Mind games don’t seem to be Cuban’s method of operation. He’s outgoing, opinionated, powerful and

  • Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Berry Tramel

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    Talk about the Thunder, OU and OSU with columnist Berry Tramel in today's Power Lunch live chat at 11 a.m.

  • Western Conference injuries don't help Thunder — for now

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Tue, Apr 26, 2016

    The West landscape changed mightily in a 31-hour period in which Curry, Golden State’s historic sharpshooter, went down in Game 4 against Houston and Paul, the Clippers’ gallant quarterback, suffered a broken hand against Portland and his all-star bodyguard, Blake Griffin, suffered a quad muscle injury.

  • The greatest press conference in Thunder history

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Apr 26, 2016

    Most Thunder playoff press conferences are rudimentary. Perfunctory. Assembly line stuff. You know Billy Donovan will answer your question specifically. Which is a good thing. I loved Scotty Brooks to death, but if you asked him about a certain Russell Westbrook play, he would respond with a time-stamped speech about Westbrook’s hustle and will. Brooks would answer the question the same way he did a question about Westbrook the week before, and the week before that. So Donovan will at least address the question. And Kevin Durant will answer questions OK. Durant has turned into the Thunder’s most insightful interview. Not Kendrick Perkins quality.

  • Westbrook answers Mark Cuban with superstar performance in closeout victory

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Tue, Apr 26, 2016

    Kevin Durant told the world that Mark Cuban is an idiot. It was wonderfully entertaining and wholly unnecessary, because about 40 minutes earlier, Russell Westbrook showed the world the same thing. Cuban, the maverick Mavericks owner, sat courtside pregame and opined that this Western Conference playoff series has two superstars. One per team. Durant and Dirk Nowitzki. Then Westbrook went out and had 36 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists to lead the Thunder to a 118-104 closeout victory over Dallas, which sends OKC into a West semifinal showdown series with the Spurs. “He's an idiot,” Durant said of Cuban, with no small amount of disgust while fielding a question asked of Westbrook. “Don't listen to him. He's an

  • Durant, Thunder need to settle down

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Apr 25, 2016

      Kevin Durant has been fined for a flagrant foul against the Mavs’ Justin Anderson, a fellow Montrose Christian graduate, and Russell Westbrook has been fined for cursing at a fan. Man, you’d think Saturday night had gone horribly wrong for the Thunder in Dallas on Saturday night. Instead, Saturday night was a great night. The Thunder led wire-to-wire, not counting a few early ties. Enes Kanter and Steven Adams and Dion Waiters and Serge Ibaka were fantastic. It didn’t matter that Durant and Westbrook struggled shooting (a combined 14 of 39). The Thunder won on the road against a desperate team in a tough environment, all to take a 3-1 series lead. Nothing but glorious was Saturday night for the

  • Will Kevin Durant be like Dirk Nowitzki at 37?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Apr 25, 2016

    Kevin Durant and Dirk Nowitzki have much in common. I wrote about them for the Monday Oklahoman, a column which you can read here. Both are 7-foot or approach such a height. Both are exquisite shooters. Both are exemplary public figures as the face of NBA franchises. Heck, both shoot fallaway jumpers off one leg from time to time. Of course, they also are different. Durant is longer and more athletic. Dirk has played the power forward position almost exclusively, with only a few forays into center. Durant has played the small forward position primarily, with occasional switches to shooting guard or power forward. Both have had multiple playoff disappointments, including a loss to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.

  • Is Dirk Nowitzki a road map for Kevin Durant?

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Sun, Apr 24, 2016

    Nowitzki is more than just the face of the franchise. Nowitzki will be the face of the franchise until he’s long gone from the Earth he well-traveled. He’s Mister Maverick. Nowitzki also is a road map for Kevin Durant.

  • Thunder balance best ever in a playoff series

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Sun, Apr 24, 2016

    Kevin Durant didn’t lead the Thunder in scoring in Game 4 Saturday night in Dallas. That’s no big deal. Durant doesn’t always lead the Thunder in points. But Russell Westbrook didn’t lead the Thunder, either. That’s no big deal. Westbrook doesn’t always lead the Thunder in points. But neither Durant nor Westbrook at the top of the point parade? That is a big deal. That is a rare occurrence. This season, only five times did neither Westbrook nor Durant lead the Thunder in scoring: * Dion Waiters led OKC with 25 points on Nov. 10 at Washington; Durant played only the first half of that game. * Serge Ibaka led OKC with 25 points on Jan. 4 at home against Sacramento;

  • Dallas travelblog: Talking with Mark Cuban on the stairmaster

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Sun, Apr 24, 2016

    Mark Cuban kept climbing a stairmaster, sweat dripping everywhere, tape recorders lifted high to get within range of Cuban’s voice, which was coming out of a head nine feet off the floor. Welcome to the surreal world of the Dallas Mavericks. Mav owner Mark Cuban chats with the media before most home games. He usually does so while working out in the Mavs’ weight room. Which is connected to the locker room. Which is connected to the Mavs’ basketball offices. Which sit in the south bowels of American Airlines Center. When the Dallas locker room opens about 90 minutes before every game, Cuban can be found working out, and he doesn’t mind talking to the media while doing so. So

  • Dallas travelblog: The Rick Carlisle Inquisition

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Sat, Apr 23, 2016

    In this business, you never want to be the news. You want to report the news. I avoided the fate of the former, no thanks to Rick Carlisle. The Dallas coach put me on trial Friday after the Mavericks’ practice. Maybe you heard about it. If not, you can read my column in the Saturday Oklahoman here. The Mavericks practiced Friday at their training facility, which is in the south end of American Airlines Center. Dallas practice was scheduled to finish around noon, but it ran long, which was not unusual. Sarah Melton, who heads the Mavs’ media relations department, eventually came and asked who we wanted to talk to.

  • Tramel: Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle looking for fellow advocates to label the Thunder as bullies

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Fri, Apr 22, 2016

    DALLAS — Rick Carlisle believes the Thunder roster is loaded with bullies. But that's nothing new. The Dallas Mavericks coach has been saying the same thing for years. Heck, no one really disputes it anymore. The Thunder once was America's sweetheart basketball team. Young and fun and great. The Thunder remains great, but some of the young and fun has been replaced by mean and lean. Steven Adams is a charming Kiwi and Serge Ibaka has the rags-to-riches story and Kevin Durant remains an admirable superstar. But now, you want the Thunder on your side of an alley fight. And if you find yourself crossways with the Thunder, your best bet is to scream foul. Which brings us to Carlisle.

  • Dallas travelblog: A California pilgrimage

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Fri, Apr 22, 2016

    NBA game days are not like NCAA Tournament game days. NBA game days include morning shootarounds, pregame interviews and finally the game. In college basketball, nothing happens before tipoff. So we can go to the beach or lay around the hotel or see some site. No time for that in the NBA. Thursday morning, the Mavericks didn’t even have a shootaround. With a 6 p.m. start and an old team, Rick Carlisle wanted his guys off their feet as much as possible. But the Thunder is not old — don’t look now, but OKC plays a bunch of 23-, 24-year-olds. Steven Adams is 22, Enes Kanter is 23, Dion Waiters is 24, Andre Roberson is 24. Plus Cameron Payne and Mitch McGary and Josh Huestis.

  • Thunder Buddies podcast: Recapping OKC's Game 3 blowout of the Dallas Mavericks

    Anthony Slater,Erik Horne,Berry Tramel | Updated: Fri, Apr 22, 2016

    Welcome to the home of our Thunder Buddies podcast, named, in part, from Universal Studio's highly-acclaimed comedy 'Ted', but inspired by our continued hope for wall-to-wall coverage of the Thunder. Below is our list of episodes (click the link to listen). If you prefer iTunes for your podcast listening experience, click here and subscribe. Hope you enjoy: Thunder Buddies -- Mavs-Thunder Game 3 recap (<–Click Here) - Much like Game 1, the Thunder blasted the Mavericks in Game 3. What led to the blowout? What's the Thunder's biggest advantage in this series? Can OKC's bench continue this type of play? Is there any way the Mavericks get back in the series? We discuss.

  • Waiters, Kanter upstage Thunder's starting lineup

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Fri, Apr 22, 2016

    The Thunder routed Dallas 131-102 in Game 3 Thursday night, and the news keeps getting worse for the Mavericks. The Thunder won in a rout, and its worst lineup in Game 3 was the five starters. Steven Adams, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, Andre Roberson and Russell Westbrook played well to open each half but had a rough patch in the second quarter. They played 16.6 minutes together and were outscored by four points. In the other 31.4 minutes, OKC outscored the Mavs by 33. The Thunder has the NBA’s best starting lineup, and it usually excels, then the bench gives back some of the surplus. Not in Game 3. All kinds of lineups worked great. Dion Waiters replacing Andre Roberson with the starters played 2.4




Berry Tramel Today at 9:15 PM OKC Thunder: Spurs spinoffs https://t.co/26A4n7BONC
Berry Tramel Today at 9:15 PM ALL IN THE FAMILY: Thunder has been the most successful of the many Spurs spinoffs https://t.co/wsvZYmVjjz
Berry Tramel Today at 2:27 PM Why did Dallas draft Ezekiel Elliott? https://t.co/uPPpuD0VwG
Berry Tramel Today at 9:55 AM How will Scotty Brooks fare with the Washington Wizards? https://t.co/K8bNbfrFPO
Berry Tramel Thu, Apr. 28 2016 10:36:25 PM CST OKC Thunder journal: Kevin Durant gives his scouting report of the Spurs' defense https://t.co/Jwt0ckM7cF
Berry Tramel Thu, Apr. 28 2016 07:30:24 PM CST NBA superstars like Kevin Durant don't select teams based on coaches https://t.co/Z5buEAXSZ5
Berry Tramel Thu, Apr. 28 2016 01:27:30 PM CST OU's recruiting gap on OSU has been wide https://t.co/RudTL5kfgw
Berry Tramel Thu, Apr. 28 2016 10:09:11 AM CST Eastern Conference providing best drama in NBA playoffs https://t.co/A92feDcpCy
Berry Tramel Wed, Apr. 27 2016 05:03:17 PM CST Is new Big Ten TV contract a problem for the Big 12? https://t.co/3CfGRT5Ja3
Berry Tramel Wed, Apr. 27 2016 10:56:31 AM CST Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Berry Tramel https://t.co/DLsUkVG1GI
Berry Tramel Wed, Apr. 27 2016 09:17:40 AM CST What was Mark Cuban really talking about? https://t.co/hJV7jQVPpV
Berry Tramel Tue, Apr. 26 2016 08:51:30 PM CST Western Conference injuries don't help Thunder — for now https://t.co/ABkWtOHyuZ
Berry Tramel Tue, Apr. 26 2016 04:04:23 PM CST Steve Kerr wasn't even the Warriors' best coach https://t.co/II3M0l5GXL
Berry Tramel Tue, Apr. 26 2016 09:32:08 AM CST The greatest press conference in Thunder history https://t.co/hXgWfJ7hGr
Berry Tramel Tue, Apr. 26 2016 12:23:28 AM CST Westbrook answers Mark Cuban with superstar performance in closeout victory https://t.co/RTceP1LOJ6
Berry Tramel Mon, Apr. 25 2016 04:27:52 PM CST Marcus Smart saves Celtics https://t.co/vgwrsE3mSd
Berry Tramel Mon, Apr. 25 2016 01:16:43 PM CST Thunder & Durant have lost the high ground https://t.co/yaWjMJCUjI
Berry Tramel Mon, Apr. 25 2016 12:13:01 PM CST Will Kevin Durant be like Dirk Nowitzki at 37? https://t.co/tyFgrC3MqU
Berry Tramel Sun, Apr. 24 2016 09:00:43 PM CST Is Dirk Nowitzki a road map for Kevin Durant? https://t.co/r1PScNDEJH
Berry Tramel Sun, Apr. 24 2016 04:04:06 PM CST Thunder balance best ever in a playoff series https://t.co/0H9O4wR6kk

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