Jenni Carlson
Sports Reporter and Columnist

Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football games. Her mom kept the scorebook during baseball games and yelled her head off no matter the sport. They passed along that passion to Carlson and her two younger brothers.



Carlson played golf in high school and planned to play in college, but when she started at the University of Kansas, she decided to focus her attention on journalism. It’s a decision that she’s never regretted.



Her first big story was a profile on Kansas basketball coach Roy Williams for the yearbook, and Carlson has enjoyed interviewing sports figures and sharing their stories every since.
Carlson is a 1997 graduate of Kansas. She and her husband, Ryan, were married in 2009 and live in Oklahoma City. They welcomed their first child, Millie, in June 2012. Carlson was the president of the Association for Women in Sports Media from 2008-10 and chair of the board from 2010-12.




  • Accountants add to the fun at The Peake

    Accountants add to the fun at The Peake

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Published: Tue, May 24, 2016

    They are not your grandfather’s accountants. The accountants from Crawford & Associates love to dress up in funny outfits to cheer for the Thunder.

  • Draymond Green should be punished by NBA for hitting below the belt — again

    Draymond Green should be punished by NBA for...

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Published: Mon, May 23, 2016

    Steven Adams went down to his hands and knees, then darn near curled up in the fetal position right there on the floor of The Peake. When King Kiwi, who usually delivers the pain, takes a shot that fells him, you know it's bad. And this was horrible. Midway through the second quarter, the Thunder big man took a swift upper kick to his groin. It was one of those things that you don't want to see twice, made even more painful by the fact that this was the second time in as many games he took a serious shot to the privates. It's easy to snicker and chuckle about such things, and Adams' affable personality makes it even easier. But this is serious — especially since the guy hitting below the belt was the same both

  • Thunderous explosion

    Thunderous explosion

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Updated: Sun, May 22, 2016

    Oklahoma City Thunder took a 2-1 advantage in this best-of-seven Western Conference Finals with a 133-105 win Sunday night over the Golden State Warriors.

  • OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant must elevate his game to give his a team a chance at topping the Golden State Warriors

    OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant must elevate his game...

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Published: Sat, May 21, 2016

    Overall in these playoffs, Durant has fallen below his standards.

  • Catch a falling star: Why fans need to take one for the team

    Catch a falling star: Why fans need to take one...

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist  jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Updated: Fri, May 20, 2016

    If you’re sitting in the first few rows and a superstar falls out of the sky in your general direction, catch him.

  • Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Jenni Carlson

    Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Jenni Carlson

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Thu, May 19, 2016

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

  • WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT THUNDER-WARRIORS GAME 2

    WHAT THEY\'RE SAYING ABOUT THUNDER-WARRIORS GAME 2

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Published: Wed, May 18, 2016

    The sports world was buzzing about Golden State's 118-91 victory against Oklahoma City in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. Here's a sampling from traditional and social media Monday night: Shaquille O'Neal, Inside the NBA on TNT, about Steven Adams' "monkeys" comment after Game 1 "Guy made a mistake." Kenny Smith, Inside the NBA on TNT, about Adams' comment "I don't parallel myself with a monkey anyway, so to me, I'm not offended by it. If he would have said ‘rabbits' … I don't parallel myself with an animal.” Michael Lee, Yahoo! Sports, @MrMichaelLee "OKC is going to make Golden State earn this. Those home-run plays aren't going to rattle the Thunder. Warriors will have to

  • THUNDER-WARRIORS GAME 2 BY THE NUMBERS

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Published: Wed, May 18, 2016

    0: Losses for the Warriors in games following a loss, including Wednesday's 118-91 victory against the Thunder. Golden State is 12-0 in those bounce-back games. 1: Playoff loss for the Thunder in a game when Kevin Durant has at least 20 points by halftime. Wednesday was the 10th time in his career that he reached that mark, scoring 21 points, but the first time the Thunder went on to lose. 8: Points in the second half for Durant, who managed only five shots after halftime. 8: Turnovers for Durant, who has had at least five turnovers in six of his last seven games. 15-2: Two-minute run in the third-quarter during which Steph Curry outscored the Thunder by 13 points all on his own.

  • WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT THUNDER-WARRIORS GAME 1

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Published: Mon, May 16, 2016

    Twitter was buzzing about Oklahoma City's 108-102 victory at Golden State in the opening game of the Western Conference Finals. Here's a sampling from Monday night: Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio Network, @ALawRadio "Winning at Oracle is hard enough when you're a visiting team. No need to turn the ball over so much." Mike Prada, SB Nation, @MikePradaSBN "Big. Small. Jumbo. Whatever. Not gonna matter if Durant and Russ stay this sloppy with the ball." Dan Devine, Yahoo!'s Ball Don't Lie, @YourManDevine "I guess we're testing out this 'Russell Westbrook has Wolverine's healing factor' thing." Sean Adams, InsideTexas.com, @thatsean  "Yes, Westbrook traveled, but the Warriors can't complain.

  • THUNDER-WARRIORS GAME 1 BY THE NUMBERS

    THUNDER-WARRIORS GAME 1 BY THE NUMBERS

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Published: Mon, May 16, 2016

    .333: Combined shooting percentage for Kevin Durant (10 of 30) and Russell Westbrook (7 of 21), yet the Thunder still beat the Warriors on the road. 1: Win on the road in Game 1 of a playoff series for the Thunder since the franchise moved to Oklahoma City. The Thunder was 0-5 before Monday. 2: Second-half turnovers for the Thunder, who had 10 in the first half. 3: Consecutive wins on the road for the Thunder, two at San Antonio and one at Golden State. 3: Total wins by the visiting team in those arenas the rest of the regular season and playoffs. 3: First-half points for Westbrook, his lowest in any half this postseason. 6: Double-doubles in the postseason for Steven Adams, who had 16 points and 12

  • Why Serge Ibaka is the Thunder's Swiss army knife

    Why Serge Ibaka is the Thunder\'s Swiss army knife

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Updated: Sun, May 15, 2016

    He doesn't work with the bigs. He doesn't work with the shooters. He has his own area of the practice gym with his own group of coaches, his own routine, his own skills. Nobody else does what he does.

  • What if OKC had drafted Steph Curry?

    What if OKC had drafted Steph Curry?

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Published: Sat, May 14, 2016

    Revisionist histories about that 2009 NBA Draft have become voluminous in recent years. Not because of Rubio, of course, but because of Steph Curry.

  • Are your ears still ringing, Thunder fans?

    Jenni Carlson | Updated: Fri, May 13, 2016

    I'm bad at non-sports superlatives. Talk sports, and I can give you my opinion about who's the best, who's the worst, who's the most skilled, who's the most overrated, who's the most underrated. Even if I didn't get paid for this type of thing as a sports columnist, I'd still be able to rattle of those bests and worst. But get outside the realm of what's happening on a court or a field, and I struggle. What's the best movie ever made? Where's the best place to watch the sunset? Who's got the best sushi or burgers or steaks or tacos? Uh ... I know what I like, but picking one above all others is always tough for me. So it goes with loudest crowds at sporting events.

  • Thunder playing its best basketball as Golden State series looms

    Thunder playing its best basketball as Golden...

    By Jenni Carlson, Columnist, jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Updated: Fri, May 13, 2016

    Kevin Durant wrapped up an on-court television interview, pointed across the hardwood toward his family and friends, then jogged off the court. Except for the motioning toward Durant's people, pretty much every other Thunder player exited The Peake the same way Thursday night. No one danced. No one pranced. No one seemed all that excited about the fact that they'd just dismissed one of the best teams in NBA history and didn't even need a full seven games to do it. “This wasn't our championship,” Durant explained. But now, winning a title doesn't seem all that farfetched. More than any other time this season, the Thunder looks capable of winning one.

  • Thunder: OKC weathers Spurs' storm to advance to Western Conference Finals

    Thunder: OKC weathers Spurs\' storm to advance...

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Updated: Thu, May 12, 2016

    The Oklahoma City Thunder will face Golden State on Monday in the Western Conference Finals.

  • Is OKC's Billy Donovan outcoaching San Antonio's Gregg Popovich?

    Is OKC\'s Billy Donovan outcoaching San...

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Published: Wed, May 11, 2016

    On a night the Thunder returns to The Peake with a chance to close out the mighty Spurs and move on to the Western Conference Finals, it's clear that Oklahoma City has reached this point because of the contributions of many. But none has been any more important that what Billy Donovan and his coaching staff have done.

  • The Thunder's 95-91 win over the Spurs in Game 5, by the numbers

    The Thunder\'s 95-91 win over the Spurs in Game...

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Updated: Tue, May 10, 2016

    A by-the-numbers look at Oklahoma City's 95-91 win over San Antonio in Game 5 of the best-of-seven series: 0-2 Spurs' record in their last two home games after going 43-1 at home until that point. 1 Assist that Russell Westbrook fell shy of a triple double, scoring 35 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing nine assists. 6 First-half turnovers for Westbrook, which led to 13 first-half turnovers for the Thunder. That was a first-half playoff high for the franchise since it moved to Oklahoma City. 8 Turnovers total for Westbrook, who tied his postseason high but only had two turnovers in 20:39 second-half minutes. 13-3 Run by the Thunder to end the game.

  • WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT THUNDER-SPURS GAME 5

    From Staff Reports | Published: Tue, May 10, 2016

    What the sports world is saying about the Thunder's 95-91 victory against the Spurs. Paul Flannery, senior editor and NBA writer at SB Nation, @Pflanns on Twitter "There's been a lot of, 'Oh right, Tony Parker is still good' in this series."  Lang Whitaker, writer at NBA.com, @langwhitaker on Twitter "Steven Adams looks like he came directly from an old-timey photo booth to play in this game."  Cedric Golden, columnist at The Austin American-Statesman, @CedGolden on Twitter "Westbrook and Leonard are a joy to watch. You don't see that kind of athleticism on the same court every night. This is fun stuff." Dan Devine, writer on Yahoo's NBA blog, @YourManDevine on Twitter "Westbrook

  • How a small change is making a big difference for Steven Adams

    How a small change is making a big difference...

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Updated: Tue, May 10, 2016

    Every few years, you see a guy break through in the playoffs. Once upon a time, it was Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, then came James Harden and Serge Ibaka. They elevated their play when the stakes were highest and the competition was best. Now, Adams is doing the same.

  • Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Jenni Carlson

    Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Jenni Carlson

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Tue, May 10, 2016

    Join columnist Jenni Carlson to talk OU, OSU and the Thunder in today's sport chat at 11. am.




Jenni Carlson Mon, May. 23 2016 06:52:24 PM CST Unless it's Dahntay Jones? That happened YESTERDAY. Where's the consistency? https://t.co/kRlj12lteE
Jenni Carlson Mon, May. 23 2016 06:29:37 PM CST @chrisadempsey Tell me more. 'How it all went down.' What do you mean? Wonder bc of how much I value your expertise.
Jenni Carlson Mon, May. 23 2016 06:27:51 PM CST RT @anthonyVslater: Means he's one flagrant point away from an auto one-game suspension. He'll have to be careful https://t.co/YHWxZuGBgf
Jenni Carlson Mon, May. 23 2016 06:26:30 PM CST And they'll have to rely on a migration. Dubs at Colcord. ;) https://t.co/rWPxWwuxQI
Jenni Carlson Mon, May. 23 2016 10:44:25 AM CST RT @ErikHorneOK: Headed to Warriors practice so may be a little late but keep those questions coming. https://t.co/fueFoaKUW6
Jenni Carlson Mon, May. 23 2016 01:51:16 AM CST RT @anthonyVslater: Postgame video: Analysis + interviews with KD/Russ, Donovan, Adams, Waiters, Green and Kerr: https://t.co/b9oCXmoEZ3
Jenni Carlson Mon, May. 23 2016 01:07:04 AM CST @RattoCSN @Lisa_Olson1 @rob_backus81 Pretty sure King Kiwi isn't entertained. And he's a peach of a guy! He sees humor everywhere!
Jenni Carlson Mon, May. 23 2016 12:59:27 AM CST @RattoCSN @Lisa_Olson1 @rob_backus81 For you, Ray, anything! https://t.co/PTMqnOGDKy
Jenni Carlson Sun, May. 22 2016 08:56:51 PM CST Do not adjust your TVs, Roberson with as many three as Curry. More than Thompson.
Jenni Carlson Sun, May. 22 2016 08:54:40 PM CST @Whtmstr13 Check my timeline from the first half ... ;)
Jenni Carlson Sun, May. 22 2016 08:54:17 PM CST Draymond still without a basket since the kick.
Jenni Carlson Sun, May. 22 2016 08:45:50 PM CST Since the kick heard 'round the world, the Warriors have a grand total of 19 points.
Jenni Carlson Sun, May. 22 2016 08:44:41 PM CST On the day @anthonyVslater wrote about Ron Adams, GSW's defensive mastermind ... (Just a reminder I'm not the only one who jinxes people!)
Jenni Carlson Sun, May. 22 2016 08:43:12 PM CST Make it 92-59. This is not a misprint. https://t.co/MRDiZhPx49
Jenni Carlson Sun, May. 22 2016 08:32:10 PM CST Clipped on accident, it looked like, by Barnes. https://t.co/Ti3SO6rRcL
Jenni Carlson Sun, May. 22 2016 08:25:48 PM CST RT @anthonyVslater: Interested to see what league does with Draymond. Dahntay Jones was suspended for this today https://t.co/WernO37FXY
Jenni Carlson Sun, May. 22 2016 08:25:36 PM CST @antmanatwork My nickname for the New Zealander!
Jenni Carlson Sun, May. 22 2016 08:24:46 PM CST All happened after the kick to King Kiwi. https://t.co/498XO6EEDh
Jenni Carlson Sun, May. 22 2016 08:10:44 PM CST So, that was a pretty decent half for the #Thunder.
Jenni Carlson Sun, May. 22 2016 08:08:22 PM CST Karma, Draymond? Getting schooled on the defense end and can't hit a thing since he, well, hit something earlier.

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