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.

  • 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.

  • Tramel: Why the Thunder should let Enes Kanter go to Portland

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Updated: Fri, Jul 10, 2015

    Enes Kanter said he loved playing with the Thunder and wanted to remain with the organization. He has a funny way of showing it. Kanter did the only thing that could possibly prompt the Thunder to let Kanter walk away. In this summer of Monopoly money for NBA free agents, Kanter signed a contract with Portland that is beyond absurd. With the Blazers or with the Thunder, Kanter moves to the top of the list for the most bloated contract of this crazy July. Four years, $70 million; $17.5 million a year for a guy who won’t get Portland to the playoffs and won’t play half the game for the Thunder unless the plagues of Egypt again fall. If I’m Sam Presti, I don’t match the offer. I'd let Kanter, a low-post

  • Thunder road to title tougher than ever

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Thu, Jul 9, 2015

    When the smoke of free agency clears, the Thunder figures to be in the thick of the West contenders. Probably third in line, behind the Warriors and Spurs, and that’s with or without Enes Kanter.

  • DeAndre Jordan waffling changes the landscape of NBA moratorium

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Wed, Jul 8, 2015

    All NBA eyes moved to Houston on Wednesday, when a variety of media reported DeAndre Jordan waffling on his commitment to the Dallas Mavericks and thinking seriously about returning to the Los Angeles Clippers.

  • Will Pistons come to regret Reggie Jackson contract?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jul 8, 2015

    Monday afternoon on the Sports Animal, Traber or Eschbach, I forget which, asked a good question. Which NBA player has gotten the most ridiculous contract so far. Their answer was Reggie Jackson. Which goes along with some theories I’ve heard nationally, too. The Pistons gave Jackson a five-year, $80-million contract. That’s $16 million a year. I answered Kevin Love. The Cavaliers are giving Love $22 million a year, one month after proving they were just as good without him as with him and maybe even better. Love is a great player; he can score and rebound with the best of them.

  • Could the Thunder be headed for a division change?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jul 8, 2015

    The Milwaukee Bucks are threatening to move to Seattle or Las Vegas. If the Bucks move — and I hope they don’t; I like Milwaukee — I hope they go to Seattle. Much better destination spot. The Milwaukee owners say if ground isn’t broken in 2015 for a new arena, the league will buy back the Bucks and move the franchise. Let’s suppose it does move. Either to Seattle or Vegas. Hard to imagine how the Bucks could be kept in the Eastern Conference. Seattle and Vegas aren’t exactly Eastern cities. They would have to be settled in the West. Which means a franchise would be shipped to the East. Those hands you see raised are every franchise west of Palm Springs. Life in the East is

  • How could Kevin Durant possibly be a better teammate?

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Mon, Jul 6, 2015

    A better teammate? Durant is an all-NBA ballplayer but an all-world teammate. He’s the guy who reaches out to newcomers and who bounces off the bench even with a gimpy leg to cheer on his pals and who plays peacemaker when emotions run wild in combustible competition.

  • Reggie Jackson and Enes Kanter remain linked

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Jul 6, 2015

    Reggie Jackson and Enes Kanter were involved in the same trade last February, disgruntled young players that once were looked upon as cornerstones but had fallen from favor with their franchises. Then Jackson and Kanter staged a derby determining which could be more impressive with their new teams. Jackson was good in 27 Detroit Piston games: 32.2 minutes (only 4.2 minutes more than he was playing in OKC) per game, but 17.6 points (up 4.8), 4.7 rebounds (up 0.7) and 9.2 assists (up 4.9). Meanwhile, Jackson’s shooting improved remarkably — his slash line of field goal percentage, foul shooting and 3-point percentage was .436/.796/.337 with the Pistons, .432/.861/.278 with the Thunder. Kanter’s

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

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Fri, Jul 3, 2015

    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.

Berry Tramel Today at 2:23 PM Can Oklahoma State make the College Football Playoff?
Berry Tramel Today at 12:14 PM Press Row Podcast: The Bedlam of our dreams and the Thunder's best player
Berry Tramel Today at 9:40 AM Kevin Durant makes Dion Waiters better
Berry Tramel Tue, Nov. 24 2015 10:17:43 PM CST OU football: Are the Sooners a Bedlam win away from making the College Football Playoff?
Berry Tramel Tue, Nov. 24 2015 11:01:13 AM CST Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel Tue, Nov. 24 2015 11:01:13 AM CST Comparing OU's resume to Notre Dame's, Michigan State's & Iowa's
Berry Tramel Tue, Nov. 24 2015 09:30:36 AM CST Bundle up for another wintry Bedlam
Berry Tramel Mon, Nov. 23 2015 08:50:18 PM CST Comparing OU's résumé to Notre Dame's, Michigan State's & Iowa's
Berry Tramel Mon, Nov. 23 2015 03:52:19 PM CST Gary Patterson stands by his final two-point conversion decision
Berry Tramel Mon, Nov. 23 2015 10:22:27 AM CST College football rankings: Time to cut the committee some slack
Berry Tramel Sun, Nov. 22 2015 11:22:37 PM CST Berry Tramel: Thunder wins but remains a work in progress
Berry Tramel Sun, Nov. 22 2015 10:07:21 PM CST Thunder wins but remains a work in progress
Berry Tramel Sun, Nov. 22 2015 03:28:56 PM CST Big 12 rankings: Sooners are No. 1
Berry Tramel Sun, Nov. 22 2015 11:31:21 AM CST OU football: Horror show vs. TCU has a happy ending for Sooners
Berry Tramel Sun, Nov. 22 2015 09:04:19 AM CST OU football report card: Sooners' win versus TCU was too close for comfort
Berry Tramel Sun, Nov. 22 2015 01:19:22 AM CST OU football: A look at the Sooners' 30-29 win over TCU by the numbers
Berry Tramel Sat, Nov. 21 2015 09:12:12 AM CST OU offense gaining on Baylor in points-per-possession
Berry Tramel Fri, Nov. 20 2015 08:53:27 PM CST OU football: The chip on Baker Mayfield's shoulder has more than a tint of crimson
Berry Tramel Fri, Nov. 20 2015 06:35:07 PM CST Big 12 football: Can Glenn Spencer get Cowboys' defense to hold down Baylor's high-powered offense?
Berry Tramel Fri, Nov. 20 2015 06:35:07 PM CST Big 12 football: Why Iowa State could pull the upset over Kansas State