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.

  • NBA changes should expedite replay review

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Fri, Oct 2, 2015

    The NBA has taken an excellent step toward improving the replay review for games. The league’s board of governors has unanimously approved modifications that include the staffing of current NBA referees to the Replay Center in Secaucus, N.J., making decisions on certain replay situations and facilitating the on-the-court review of others. According to an NBA press release, “all replay reviews will continue to be triggered by the referees on the court. Once triggered, though, the final determination of certain reviews will be made by the referees in the Replay Center and then communicated back to the on-court crew chief for administration of the call.” That’s a great development.

  • Billy Donovan "humbled" by reception in OKC

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Sep 30, 2015

    Billy Donovan said it’s been a “very, very humbling” four months coaching the Thunder. Interesting choice of words. Donovan wasn’t talking basketball. He was talking personal.  “The community has been really remarkable in terms of helping myself, helping my kids, my wife adjust. Very very grateful for all the help that so many lended, reached out, to make this a smooth transition.” Donovan lauded the Thunder organization for being a great place to come to work, but he really stressed the reception by Oklahomans as impressive. “When you’ve been in a place for 19 years, you establish so many relationships,” Donovan said of Gainesville, Fla.

  • Nick Collison no stranger to coaching changes

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Sep 28, 2015

    Nick Collison was the 12th pick of the 2003 NBA Draft, taken by Seattle SuperSonics. Collison was injured and missed all of that first season, but his coach was Nate McMillan. McMillan was Collison’s coach for his rookie season, 2004-05. The next year, Bob Weiss was Seattle’s coach, for 30 games. Then Weiss was fired, replaced by Bob Hill for the final 52 games. At that point, Collison had played two NBA seasons and gone through three coaches. That summer, Clay Bennett’s ownership group bought the Sonics. Hill coached the Sonics for the 2006-07 season, then was fired, along with general manager Rick Sund. Bennett hired Sam Presti, and Presti hired P.J. Carlesimo as coach.

  • Tramel: Billy Donovan an interesting mix of youth and experience

    By Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Sep 28, 2015

    “He’s got a lot of energy, I can sense that already,” veteran Nick Collison said Monday during Thunder Media Day, his 13th with the organization. “Haven’t spent a ton of time with him. Really won’t know until we get into the season, but I think he’s a real high-energy guy. And he’s also very experienced.”

  • Thunder notebook: Kevin Durant on free agency fan reaction: 'I'm not looking for people to lobby me'

    By Erik Horne, Anthony Slater and Berry Tramel, Staff Writers | Published: Mon, Sep 28, 2015

    All season, through chants and signs and social media posts and random public run-ins, Durant is sure to face pleas from every angle of the country.

  • Billy Donovan will rely on veteran assistants

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Sep 23, 2015

    Billy Donovan has a lot of NBA experience on his coaching staff. Maurice Cheeks has been head coach for 620 NBA games. Monty Williams has been head coach for 394 NBA games. So Donovan, making his NBA coaching debut this season with the Thunder, can lean on veterans. And will, says Thunder general manager Sam Presti . During his pre-training camp press conference Wednesday, Presti addressed the coaching staff changes. Presti said Donovan’s coaching hires were “100 percent” Donovan’s decision. Presti said he had no contact with Cheeks in the coaching-search period and Presti said his only role with Williams was placing a call to see if he would be interested in chatting with Donovan.

  • Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Berry Tramel

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Tue, Sep 22, 2015

    We're talking college football with columnist Berry Tramel on the Power Lunch chat at 11 a.m. Join us for some OU, OSU and Big 12 talk.

  • Power Lunch: Chat college football with columnist Berry Tramel

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Thu, Sep 17, 2015

    Join Berry Tramel on the Power Lunch chat as he'll be talking Oklahoma State, OU, Big 12 football and more at 11 a.m.

  • Why change the Thunder logo?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Sep 9, 2015

    The Thunder logo is under siege.’s Zach Lowe ranked the Thunder last among all 30 teams in logo and says Nike will push for an overhaul in 2017, when it replaces Adidas as the league’s apparel partner. You can read Lowe’s story here. I’m neither artist nor art critic. The logo looks find to me, but I can’t honestly say I like any logo better than another. I have heard a lot of people over the years, especially early in the Thunder’s existence; say the logo seemed amateurish and not so stylish. Maybe so. But when I look at the Thunder logo, I don’t think amateurish. I don’t think Mickey Mouse. I tell you what’s Mickey Mouse. Changing your logo. Changing your

  • Berry Tramel chat recap: Talking Texas woes, Durant-Knicks rumors, OU-OSU conference split

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Tue, Sep 8, 2015

    Berry Tramel jumped on the Power Lunch chat on Tuesday to talk OU and OSU football splitting up, what's wrong with Texas, and the Kevin Durant-Knicks interest rumors. Here's the recap.

  • Best NBA rule suggestion: Reduce timeouts

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Sep 1, 2015

    Sports Illustrated has asked its six NBA writers a simple question. “If you were commissioner for a day, what rule changes would you make to the NBA?” Excellent question, and a good discussion. You can read the responses of the SI panel here. I’ll give you their answers, sans explanation, with my thoughts. And these are in order of how much I like them: Phil Taylor: Reduce timeouts. No. 1 answer. Each team gets six timeouts, plus TV timeouts. It kills the flow of the game in the final four minutes. In the final minute, there often are more timeouts than possession. A timeout is followed by a possession, which is followed by a timeout, which is followed by a possession, which is followed by a timeout.

  • Berry Tramel chat recap: Predictions on the OU and Oklahoma State openers, College Football Playoff

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Tue, Sep 1, 2015

    Berry Tramel jumps on the Power Lunch for his first chat of the football season at noon. Get your questions in now on the season openers for Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, the start of college football and more.

  • Thunder's Nick Collison ranks fifth on NBA list

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    LeBron James was the first pick in the 2003 draft. Turns out the Cavs knew what they were doing. Darko Milicic went second; turns out the Pistons didn’t have a clue. Then came Carmelo and Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Chris Kaman went sixth, Kirk Hinrich seventh, T.J. Ford eighth. With the 12th pick, the Seattle SuperSonics took Nick Collison. The franchise was owned by Howard Schultz, coached by Nate McMillan and led by Ray Allen and Gary Payton. The Sonics no longer are in Seattle. Schultz isn’t the owner, McMillan isn’t the coach, and Allen and Payton are long-since retired, finishing with other teams. But Collison remains with the team. In fact, Collison is high on the NBA longevity

  • Does the Thunder have the easiest schedule in the West?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Aug 19, 2015

    The NBA schedule is out, and not every schedule is created equal. The NBA’s unbalanced schedule, which requires divisional scheduling but no longer divisional standings, gives some teams an advantage. Like the Thunder. The NBA is expected to approve for the 2015-16 season a playoff format by which teams are seeded 1-8 strictly on record, regardless of divisions. But teams still are being scheduled with divisions. Every team plays a fellow division member four times, teams in the other conference twice each and teams in its own conference but not in its division three or four times. Which means the Thunder should have an easier schedule than most of its fellow Western Conference contenders.

  • Will the Thunder hire a female coach?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Aug 3, 2015

    Becky Hammon coached the Spurs’ summer league team to the championship in Las Vegas, and within a few days she wasn’t the NBA’s only female assistant coach. The Kings hired Nancy Lieberman to be part of George Karl’s staff in Sacramento. The Saturday Oklahoman had a long interview with Lieberman, which you can read here, and the Sunday Oklahoman had a collected wisdom with Hammon, which you can read here. I don’t know if the NBA’s sudden surge in hiring females will become a trend. But I don’t think the hirings of Hammon and Lieberman are tokenisms. First off, is Gregg Popovich into token decisions? Of course not. The Kings, of course, are a total mess.

  • Could Kendrick Perkins be an NBA assistant coach?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Fri, Jul 24, 2015

    Kendrick Perkins has signed with the New Orleans Pelicans, which is good for Perk. Good team. Good role, as a mentor to Anthony Davis while serving as a deep reserve on a team with Davis, Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca. Perkins can't play like he once did. His body is worn out. It's got to be frustrating for a player whose value always was being in the right place at the right time but now can't get there, even if he knows exactly when and where to be. But Gran Torino is still good to have around. LeBron James wanted him on the Cavs' roster for Cleveland's stretch run. The Thunder was sad to see Perkins go, even though trading him helped bring a restocked roster. New Orleans, an up and comer if ever there was one, is

  • An L.A. story that shows the Thunder's culture survived the storm

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Updated: Thu, Jul 23, 2015

    COMMENTARY -- What's going on this week in Los Angeles is evidence the Oklahoma City Thunder culture hasn't been crippled by the passage of time or the anguish of a season from hell.

  • Retaining divisional scheduling will help the Thunder

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Thu, Jul 23, 2015

    NBA commissioner Adam Silver says the league likely will do away with any automatic playoff qualification or seeding for division winners. As I’ve written, that’s fine, so long as you get rid of divisions. But it’s goofy to have divisions and no reward for division winners. Reminds me of a great scene from “The Wonder Years.” Kevin Arnold is paired in science class with some dorky girl, who sort of takes a shine to him and Kevin actually realizes she’s not so bad. But admitting that publicly would be the end days for young Kev socially. So he tells Margaret Fahrquar sure, they can be friends. They just can’t really talk on the phone. Or talk at school. Or act like they know each other. But

  • Emails in on Enes Kanter

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Fri, Jul 17, 2015

    Enes Kanter is safely in the Thunder fold, after much debate over his four-year, $70-million contract. I wasn’t crazy about the Kanter contract, but how did the readers feel? Let’s let them tell us: David: “Max Deal Today, Bargain Tomorrow. I've assumed all along that this theory (fact) was the underbelly of the Kanter deal. Unless there is an escalation clause in the new cap agreement, if Kanter plays a little D (and I suspect he will) he could turn out to be a real bargain going forward.” Well, I would never go that far. Max Deal Today, Manageable Tomorrow. That’s as far as I’ll go.

  • Tramel: Now Kanter must prove his worth

    BY BERRY TRAMEL | Updated: Mon, Jul 13, 2015

    The Thunder is going to pay big for Kanter next season. Which is fine as long as you win big. A guy getting $70 million over four years and sending the Thunder to a $26 million tax bill has to be a major part of winning big.

Berry Tramel Today at 2:06 PM Big 12 rankings: TCU ranks ahead of OU, OSU
Berry Tramel Today at 12:21 PM OU Report Card: Berry Tramel's grades from the Sooners' win over West Virginia
Berry Tramel Sat, Oct. 03 2015 09:49:49 PM CST OU football: A look at the Sooners' win over West Virginia by the numbers
Berry Tramel Sat, Oct. 03 2015 09:49:48 PM CST OU football: Offensive aggression pays off for Sooners in 44-24 win over West Virginia
Berry Tramel Fri, Oct. 02 2015 08:35:09 PM CST Tramel: Let's slow the Heisman talk on Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield
Berry Tramel Fri, Oct. 02 2015 03:06:13 PM CST Has Bill Snyder bridged the generation gap?
Berry Tramel Fri, Oct. 02 2015 02:29:27 PM CST Big 12 football: Texas Tech a test for Baylor QB Seth Russell
Berry Tramel Fri, Oct. 02 2015 02:29:27 PM CST Big 12 football: Can West Virginia pull off an upset of No. 15 Oklahoma?
Berry Tramel Fri, Oct. 02 2015 01:10:23 PM CST College football: Notre Dame at Clemson tops the list of this week's games
Berry Tramel Fri, Oct. 02 2015 01:10:23 PM CST College football: Could this be the year Iowa finally takes the Heartland Trophy back from Wisconsin?
Berry Tramel Fri, Oct. 02 2015 01:10:23 PM CST College football: Is Notre Dame poised to repeat 2012 run?
Berry Tramel Fri, Oct. 02 2015 09:41:25 AM CST NBA changes should expedite replay review
Berry Tramel Thu, Oct. 01 2015 11:44:00 AM CST Will OU and OSU escape the upset bid?
Berry Tramel Thu, Oct. 01 2015 07:29:29 AM CST NFL predictions: Last quarterback standing wins
Berry Tramel Wed, Sep. 30 2015 07:32:20 PM CST Could 11 a.m. kickoffs make OU rethink the Big 12?
Berry Tramel Wed, Sep. 30 2015 06:19:53 PM CST College football: Former NEO coach Glen Wolfe dies
Berry Tramel Wed, Sep. 30 2015 03:23:17 PM CST Larry Brown: No surprises at SMU
Berry Tramel Wed, Sep. 30 2015 09:44:18 AM CST Billy Donovan "humbled" by reception in OKC
Berry Tramel Tue, Sep. 29 2015 06:06:21 PM CST Big 12's Walt Anderson explains defensive holding on a running play
Berry Tramel Tue, Sep. 29 2015 06:06:21 PM CST How good is West Virginia's defense?