Berry Tramel
Sports Columnist

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.


  • What's going on with Enes Kanter contract talks?

    Berry Tramel | Yesterday

    While the free-agent signings come in waves around the NBA, the waiting continues for Enes Kanter and the Thunder to agree to a deal. It seems inevitable that Kanter winds up with the Thunder, since even if Kanter takes his negotiations to other teams, the Thunder can match the offer. So what’s the hangup? Why the delay? A few things could be holding it up. 1) Kanter’s camp is waiting on the DeAndre Jordan and LaMarcus Aldridge decisions, which will clear up the market for centers. Jordan is waffling, by all reports, between the Clippers and the Mavericks. Aldridge, who knows what he’s doing? Virtually all the other notable big men have cast their claim. Marc Gasol is not even talking to

  • Kyle Singler won't be needed until he is

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    The Thunder really doesn’t need Singler. Until it does. Until Kevin Durant gets hurt again or needs a rest, and while we’re all praying Durant is fine, he most certainly will need rest.

  • Did Kevin Durant make NBA players think twice about one-year contracts

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    NBA players have made their decision. They embrace security. The free agent frenzy of the last couple of days has produced a bevy of five- and four-year contracts, even though the new salary structure in the NBA means free agents in summer 2016 and summer 2017 figure to reap a windfall, because of the escalating salary cap. The salary cap is in the neighborhood of $69 million this season, figures to be $90 million in 2016-17 and perhaps as high as $108 million in 2017-18. Analysts thought that might entice players to settle on one- or two-year contracts, so they could jump back into the frenzy soon. But that hasn’t happened. Of the free-agent signings so far, only Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerobko have

  • How does Kyle Singler compare with Perry Jones III?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    Kyle Singler will sign a five-year contract with the Thunder for almost $5 million a season. I don’t know the details; let’s call it $4.8 million a season. That’s a decent amount of money on a team in which the incredibly valuable Anthony Morrow is making $3.4 million a season. Of course, when you factor in the new NBA salary structure that kicks in next season, Singler’s $4.8 million is more like $3.4 million, so it’s not kooky money. A better way to gauge Singler is not through his money, but through his performance. He’s played three full NBA seasons. To whom does he compare? Well, let’s compare him to the guy whose job he took, Perry Jones III.

  • NBA free agency: The next two summers will be even more wild

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    NBA free agency is fun. You can blow a whole day doing nothing but following rumors. Just in a 75-minute span Wednesday morning, the headlines read: “Jimmy Butler Ponders Max Offer From Bulls;” “Bulls to Re-Sign Mike Dunleavy;” “Paul Millsap Deciding Between Magic, Hawks;” “Heat To Re-Sign Goran Dragic;” and “Blazers Close To Max Extension With Damian Lillard.” Sometimes, the stuff comes so fast, you can’t keep up. But this NBA free agency season might be chump change compared to the next two. The current salary cap is around $68 million (it’s been projected up, just this week). Next season, the cap soars to $90 million thanks to

  • What did Enes Kanter say and what did he mean?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    By all accounts, Enes Kanter is talking with the Thunder today about a new contract. I wrote about Kanter for the Wednesday Oklahoman, and the factors that make it even more likely that he will remain in OKC. You can read that column here. The 23-year-old center has been in Turkey most of the offseason — he’s been seen strolling around d in Thunder gear, which I assume is a good sign — so we haven’t heard about his latest thoughts. But we do have his exit interview from April. Let’s revisit that interview and see if we can find some clues about what he wants: On his contract situation: “Obviously I love it here. Obviously it’s not in my head. We just have to see

  • Who was the final draft pick of the Seattle SuperSonics?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jul 1, 2015

      Trivia question: Who was the final draft pick of the Seattle SuperSonics? And no, it’s not Russell Westbrook. Westbrook was Seattle’s first-round pick, a week or so before the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City. But Westbrook wasn’t even the Sonics’ final first-round pick. That honor went to Serge Ibaka, drafted 24th overall. The Sonics’ final pick was Sasha Kaun, the Kansas center who averaged 7.1 points and 3.9 rebounds a game on the Jayhawks’ NCAA championship team. Kaun was a four-year Jayhawk, playing with a bevy of future NBA players — Mario Chalmers, Brandon Rush, Darrell Arthur, Cole Aldrich and Julian Wright. On draft night, Sam Presti traded Kaun to

  • NBA free agency: Ranking the available big men

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Updated: Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    FREE-AGENT BIG MEN: Enes Kanter will be one of several good big men available when the NBA's free-agency period begins on Wednesday.

  • Commentary: OKC Thunder should be able to keep Enes Kanter, but at a hefty price

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    BERRY TRAMEL -- The NBA’s free agency season opens Wednesday, and the new market realities are going to hit swift and strong. Kanter is a restricted free agent, which means he can sign with any team but the Thunder can keep their center by matching the offer. Which the Thunder almost surely will. Right after taking a deep breath and swallowing hard.

  • Time for Thunder to use retired Sonic numbers

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Jun 29, 2015

    Thunder rookie Cameron Payne wanted jersey No. 1. That’s what he wore at Murray State. But Payne can’t wear No. 1 with the Thunder. It’s retired, in honor of Gus Williams, who if he ever was in Oklahoma, it was to ride or horse or shop for boots, not to play basketball. Here we go again. The sticky details of relocation lead to absurdity. The Seattle SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City in 2008, and with the move came all the Sonics’ history and honors, with some stipulations that it would return to Seattle should that city regain an NBA franchise. So when Kendrick Perkins arrived via trade from Boston in 2011, he couldn’t wear No. 43 with the Thunder. That was retired in honor of

  • Cam Payne: What kind of basketball place is Murray State?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Jun 29, 2015

    The newest Thunder is Cam Payne, whose slogan when he was drafted 14th overall Thursday night was chip-on-my-shoulder. Payne didn’t mind telling everyone he felt he belonged at Duke but instead became a mid-major star at Murray State of the Ohio Valley Conference. Here’s a tutorial on Murray State basketball: * Murray State is located in Murray, Ky., in far western Kentucky. It’s not in the middle of nowhere. Murray State is within three hours of Louisville, Memphis, Nashville and St. Louis. Murray State has 11,166 students. * The Racers have made 15 NCAA Tournaments and have won three times, beating Colorado State in 2012, Vanderbilt in 2010 and North Carolina State in 1988.

  • Tramel: I think we're going to like new OKC Thunder coach Billy Donovan just fine

    BY BERRY TRAMEL | Updated: Mon, Jun 29, 2015

    BILLY DONOVAN -- New Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan is personable and engaging. Seems to have constructed few walls. That’s encouraging. Columnist Berry Tramel says he thinks we’re going to like Donovan. We the press and we the people.

  • Tramel: 'Don't know' is acceptable in the NBA Draft

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Updated: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    If it’s not Kevin Wayne Durant about to grace the roster, we really have no clue how a player will fare in the NBA.

  • Will Edmond Santa Fe's Josh Richardson be drafted?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jun 24, 2015

    Edmond Santa Fe’s Josh Richardson reportedly was back in his hometown this week for a workout with the Thunder. The 6-foot-6 Tennessee swingman is considered a possible second-round pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday night. But draft analysts say Richardson has a decent chance at sticking with an NBA team. “Richardson is a player that will stick in the league early purely based off his physical and athletic traits,” nbadraft.net declared in its analysis of Richardson, which you can read in its entirety

  • Thunder: Is Cameron Payne a left-handed George Hill?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    Of six prominent NBA mock drafts, four have the Thunder taking Murray State point guard Cameron Payne at No. 14. The other two have Payne going to the Pacers at No. 11. For weeks, Payne has been prominently mentioned as a Thunder target. He’s a 6-foot-2 sophomore who can really shoot. Payne averaged 20.3 points […]

  • NBA payroll lists: Thunder won't be in free agent market

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    NBA Draft Week arrives, which is exciting. Because it means free agency arrives soon. The draft is nothing too exciting,  even if you’ve got a team with a lottery pick. That’s one roster spot, and sometimes you don’t know much about whoever gets taken. For instance, who could be drafted at No. 14 by the […]

  • How these Warriors are like 2012 Thunder

    Berry Tramel | Published: Thu, Jun 11, 2015

    The 2015 NBA Finals continue Tuesday night. We’ve seen this script before. This Warrior-Cavalier series is morphing into the 2012 NBA Finals. Three seasons ago, the Heat beat the Thunder four games to one, and so far, the script has been similar. Home team victory in Game 1. Road team victory in Game 2, after […]

  • Why the Warriors will win the NBA Finals

    Berry Tramel | Published: Thu, Jun 4, 2015

    LeBron James has been to five NBA Finals. Thursday night, that number becomes six. LeBron is 2-3 in the Finals, and frankly, that’s about where he ought to be. His Cavaliers were nowhere near in the Spurs’ class in 2007, and ditto for 2014. You might argue that LeBron’s Heat should have beaten the Mavericks […]

  • Cavs need a monumental upset to beat the Warriors

    Berry Tramel | Published: Thu, Jun 4, 2015

    The Warriors and the Cavaliers begin the NBA Finals on Thursday night, and LeBron James is so good, he makes you think Cleveland has a fighting chance. But LeBron will have to buck history to raise his third O’Brien Trophy. The Warriors are not just the best of the West. They are historically good. Golden […]

  • Why the (underrated) Warriors will win the NBA Finals

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Wed, Jun 3, 2015

    WE PICK'EM -- Jenni Carlson and Berry Tramel make their picks for everything from the NBA Finals to the next Iowa State coach. And even figure out who's the best coach in college football.




Berry Tramel Fri, Jul. 03 2015 09:18:32 AM CST What's going on with Enes Kanter contract talks? LINK
Berry Tramel Thu, Jul. 02 2015 05:14:57 PM CST Kyle Singler won't be needed until he is LINK
Berry Tramel Thu, Jul. 02 2015 04:28:00 PM CST Travis Ford's scrambling has produced an interesting OSU basketball roster LINK
Berry Tramel Thu, Jul. 02 2015 01:00:32 PM CST Did Kevin Durant make NBA players think twice about one-year contracts LINK
Berry Tramel Thu, Jul. 02 2015 09:54:48 AM CST How does Kyle Singler compare with Perry Jones III? LINK
Berry Tramel Wed, Jul. 01 2015 03:21:19 PM CST Are college basketball jobs more stable than college football? LINK
Berry Tramel Wed, Jul. 01 2015 01:08:40 PM CST NBA free agency: The next two summers will be even more wild LINK
Berry Tramel Wed, Jul. 01 2015 11:02:15 AM CST What did Enes Kanter say and what did he mean? LINK
Berry Tramel Wed, Jul. 01 2015 08:55:07 AM CST Who was the final draft pick of the Seattle SuperSonics? LINK
Berry Tramel Tue, Jun. 30 2015 05:05:23 PM CST NBA free agency: Ranking the available big men LINK
Berry Tramel Tue, Jun. 30 2015 05:05:22 PM CST Commentary: OKC Thunder should be able to keep Enes Kanter, but at a hefty price LINK
Berry Tramel Tue, Jun. 30 2015 04:53:33 PM CST Tom Osborne agrees: 13th game matters LINK
Berry Tramel Tue, Jun. 30 2015 01:13:48 PM CST Who has replaced Donald Sterling as the NBA's worst owner? LINK
Berry Tramel Tue, Jun. 30 2015 08:33:47 AM CST Thunder's worst-case scenario for LaMarcus Aldridge LINK
Berry Tramel Tue, Jun. 30 2015 08:33:46 AM CST Toronto could be attractive destination for NBA free agents LINK
Berry Tramel Mon, Jun. 29 2015 04:25:00 PM CST Time for Thunder to use retired Sonic numbers LINK
Berry Tramel Mon, Jun. 29 2015 10:55:43 AM CST Cam Payne: What kind of basketball place is Murray State? LINK
Berry Tramel Mon, Jun. 29 2015 10:55:43 AM CST NBA offseason: Does the Heat have the Southeast Division's worst talent? LINK
Berry Tramel Mon, Jun. 29 2015 10:55:42 AM CST Put Pete Rose in Cooperstown, just not in the Hall of Fame LINK
Berry Tramel Mon, Jun. 29 2015 10:10:43 AM CST Tramel: I think we're going to like new OKC Thunder coach Billy Donovan just fine LINK

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