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.


  • San Antonio travelblog: A California pizza at the Quarry Market

    San Antonio travelblog: A California pizza at...

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, May 10, 2016

    Well, we’re back in San Antonio. Travel in the NBA playoffs isn’t a drag, until you get to return trips. We were in San Antonio for four days, April 29-May 3, got home for six days thanks to the three-day break between Games 2 and 3, and then hit the road again Monday for the quick trip for Game 5. We’ll zip back home Wednesday morning, gear up for Game 6 Thursday night, and if there’s a Game 7, it’ll be back to San Antonio on Saturday morning. You can get a little travel drunk, forgetting what day it is.

  • Is Pau Gasol the next Spur makeover?

    Is Pau Gasol the next Spur makeover?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, May 10, 2016

    I wrote about Tim Duncan and the aged Spurs for the Tuesday Oklahoman. You can read that column here. Duncan is a shell of his former self. Duncan received four personal fouls in the first half of Game 4, and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich didn’t seem to care. He didn’t take out Duncan after three fouls. And in the third quarter, Duncan played just 3:18, then didn’t play at all in the fourth. With no more fouls. Duncan played 12 minutes through three quarters. The Spurs had an 81-77 lead, but the Thunder had outscored San Antonio by five points with Duncan on the court. Then Duncan didn’t take the floor in the fourth quarter. The Thunder started dominating the Spurs, but still no Duncan.

  • Can the Thunder's youth wear down the ancient Spurs?

    Can the Thunder\'s youth wear down the ancient...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Tue, May 10, 2016

    The Spurs have won the two games in which both teams have had at least three days rest. The Thunder has won the two games in which both teams had just one day of rest. Can OKC wear down the ancient Spurs?

  • Thunder Buddies podcast: Discussing Kevin Durant's 41-point Game 4 eruption

    Thunder Buddies podcast: Discussing Kevin...

    Anthony Slater,Berry Tramel,Erik Horne | Updated: Mon, May 9, 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 -- Spurs-Thunder Game 4 recap (<–Click Here) - Kevin Durant erupted for 41 points in an emotional Game 4 home win over the Spurs on Sunday night. How important was the performance not just in this series but in his impending free agency? Also: How about Dion Waiters and Steven Adams? We break down what has been a fantastic

  • Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Berry Tramel

    Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Berry Tramel

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Mon, May 9, 2016

    Join columnist Berry Tramel to talk OU, OSU, the Thunder and the NBA Playoffs in today's Power Lunch live chat at 11 a.m.

  • Thunder frontcourt starting to flex its muscle

    Thunder frontcourt starting to flex its muscle

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, May 9, 2016

    The Thunder is tied 2-2 with the Spurs, and OKC’s offense slowly is making inroads against San Antonio’s mighty defense. Except for the slowly part. The Spurs have a great defense. The NBA’s best. The Spurs finished the regular season first in points allowed per game, 92.9; first in points allowed per possession, 1.14; and fourth in field-goal percentage defense, .436. But the Thunder has produced some quality offense in two of the last three games of this now

  • Thunder Report Card: Grading OKC's 111-97 victory over the Spurs in Game 4

    Thunder Report Card: Grading OKC\'s 111-97...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Sun, May 8, 2016

    The Thunder beat the Spurs 111-97 in a game much closer than the score indicated, but still impressive. The grades reflect a rousing performance: PASSING GAME: A. The Thunder had 14 assists in Game 3. Russell Westbrook had 15 by himself in Game 4. Westbrook had seven assists that led to dunks, including five to Steven Adams. The pick-and-roll game was working, but so was the alley-oop game. We even saw a couple of rare combinations — Serge Ibaka dunked off a Westbrook lob and Adams dunked off a Kevin Durant lob. POST-FIRST QUARTER OFFENSE: A. The Thunder offense was awful the first 14 minutes of the game — 20 points, 7-of-20 shooting, six turnovers. But the Thunder heated up.

  • How Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have made the podium their platform

    How Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com   | Updated: Sun, May 8, 2016

    Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook walked onto the post-game podium together Friday night. Just like always. The Spurs had won Game 3 about 40 minutes earlier, a gut-punching defeat for the Thunder. Durant and Westbrook had entered Chesapeake Arena with homecourt advantage but would exit without it. Durant had played mostly well and Westbrook mostly awful, but that's really beside the point. The podium decision already had been made. Had been made long ago. The stakes have changed since the salad days of 2010, when the Thunder was a gee-whiz team seasons ahead of its time. The fashion has changed, too. Gone is the backpack that made Durant look young enough to be back at Montrose Christian. Gone are the lenseless frames

  • Leonard's rebound shows this is an uphill series for OKC

    Leonard\'s rebound shows this is an uphill...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Sat, May 7, 2016

    The Thunder finally got what it needed on this uphill night in this uphill series. A stop. The Thunder got a stop. The Thunder bothered LaMarcus Aldridge into a missed shot, and hope swelled that the Thunder might make reach the crest after a long, tough Friday night. Then Kawhi Leonard swooped in for an offensive rebound. The Thunder's greatest strength let it down at the most critical time. Leonard's rebound with 23 seconds left led to foul shots that gave San Antonio a four-point lead with 18.3 seconds left, and soon enough the Spurs had a 100-96 road victory that puts them back in command of this Western Conference semifinal series. “Backbreaker,” said Kevin Durant.

  • THUNDER REPORT CARD

    THUNDER REPORT CARD

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Fri, May 6, 2016

    The Thunder trailed big early, rallied for a fourth-quarter lead, then was beaten down the stretch and lost 100-96 to the Spurs in a rousing Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals. The grades reflect an uneven performance.

  • Why Andre Roberson doesn't rebound more

    Why Andre Roberson doesn\'t rebound more

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Fri, May 6, 2016

    I wrote about Andre Roberson for the Friday Oklahoman. How his Game 2 defensive performance against the Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard in San Antonio was a kind of coming-out party. You can read that column here. But one thing I didn’t get into was Roberson’s rebounding. He came to OKC with a reputation as a great rebounder. And Roberson has shown flashes of that in his two seasons of regular play. But not a lot. This season, Roberson is averaging just 3.6 rebounds a game, which is sixth on the team, and 5.8 rebounds per 36 minutes, which is 11th on the team. Last season, Roberson averaged 3.8 rebounds a game, ninth on the team, and 7.1 rebounds per 36 minutes, eighth on the team.

  • Now you know why Andre Roberson starts for the Thunder

    Now you know why Andre Roberson starts for the...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Fri, May 6, 2016

    Andre Roberson catches the ball and hesitates. His body slows, but his mind races. You can almost see his conscience waging war. Shoot it, says the little guy on one shoulder. Don't you dare, says the other. Unless it's late in the game. Then there's no debate. Roberson would rather catch a band of scorpions than a roundball. In crunch time, Roberson plays hot potato. Treats the ball like it's 451 Fahrenheit. So when you watch Roberson pass up open shots, or worse yet clank a corner 3-point shot off the side of the backboard, you wonder. Why is this guy starting on a contending NBA team? Why is this guy starting on any NBA team? Then you watch Game 2 of the Thunder-Spurs Western Conference semifinals.

  • Thunder evens series with more physical, fanatical approach

    Thunder evens series with more physical,...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Tue, May 3, 2016

    SAN ANTONIO — You're going to remember the last play. The crazy inbounds pass from Dion Waiters that included an elbow to Manu Ginobili, and Danny Green's steal, and Steven Adams' fanatical defense, contesting three potential game-winning opportunities, and the scrum under the basket that ended with the final buzzer and a 98-97 victory Monday night that ranks among the greatest in Thunder history. But Kevin Durant remembers the first play. Danny Green's runner in the lane, which had to be lofted over a challenging Serge Ibaka and bounced off the rim. The Thunder breathed a sigh of relief when that final buzzer sounded and OKC got out of town with a 1-1 tie in the Western Conference semifinals. But the Thunder breathed

  • Thunder journal: LaMarcus Aldridge in historic company through two games

    Thunder journal: LaMarcus Aldridge in historic...

    By Erik Horne and Berry Tramel Staff Writers | Updated: Thu, May 5, 2016

    Aldridge through two games is averaging 39.5 points and shooting 75 percent from the field.

  • San Antonio travelblog: 90 mph on the Pickle Parkway

    San Antonio travelblog: 90 mph on the Pickle...

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Thu, May 5, 2016

    We made it home from San Antonio, and the MVP of the trip clearly was our photographer, Bryan Terry. Runnerup was whoever designed the Pickle Parkway. Bryan drove us all the way home Tuesday, allowing Erik Horne, A.C. Slater and I to work the entire 473-mile trip from San Antonio. It was a heavy news day. The chaos of those last 13.5 seconds, the national furor that ensued and the NBA’s eventual report that said the law left town during those 13.5 seconds that seemed like 13 minutes. Bryan’s driving was yeoman’s work and very valuable. And it was made easier by the new Texas turnpike that zips from Georgetown, on the far north side of greater Austin, to Seguin, about 36 miles east of San Antonio.

  • Good news for Thunder: Spurs have some road issues

    Good news for Thunder: Spurs have some road issues

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Thu, May 5, 2016

    The Thunder-Spurs series moves to Oklahoma City, with OKC trying to do what it did to San Antonio in 2012 and 2014: sweep Games 3 and 4 at Chesapeake Arena. Win both these games, and the Thunder is positioned for a huge upset. Of course, nothing easy about sweeping. The games figure to be tossup affairs. This season at home, the Thunder was a good, not great, 32-9. But 32-9 is not far from the Thunder standard. Forget the star-crossed last season. The Thunder was 34-7 at home in both 2013-14 and 2012-13. In 2011-12, the lockout-shortened season the Thunder made the NBA Finals, OKC played at a 32-9 pace at home. In 2010-11, another West finals season, the Thunder was 30-11 at home. So 32-9 is not out of the ordinary

  • OKC Thunder: Billy Donovan needs to bag a timeout

    OKC Thunder: Billy Donovan needs to bag a timeout

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Wed, May 4, 2016

    Someone please unbutton the back pocket of his pants and stash a timeout. Two, if possible.

  • LaMarcus Aldridge having historic series against Thunder

    LaMarcus Aldridge having historic series...

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, May 4, 2016

    Two wild things happened Monday night in San Antonio. The most infamous 13.5 seconds in recent NBA playoff history, and a monumental victory for the Thunder. The latter is glorious, but only partially relevant to the rest of this series. The former is fascinating but not at all relevant to the rest of this series. Lost in the grandeur of the Thunder victory and the anarchy of the last 13.5 seconds was a line on the box score. 15-21 FG; 10-10 FT; 8 Reb.; 41 points. That’s LaMarcus Aldridge’s line in Game 2. And here’s why it looms over this Western Conference semifinal like a thunderstorm over an outdoor wedding. Game 2 wasn’t Aldridge’s best game of this series.

  • Why the furor? Spurs got what they needed

    Why the furor? Spurs got what they needed

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, May 3, 2016

    The national furor of the final 13.5 seconds of Thunder-Spurs has masked the truth. The Spurs got exactly what they needed out of Dion Waiters’ inbounds pass. You know all the particulars. Up 98-97 and out of timeouts, the Thunder had trouble getting the ball in bounds. Dion Waiters was harassed by the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili. Ginobili appeared to step on the line and was in Waiters’ face. Waiters responded by elbowing Ginobili out of the way, then lofted a pass at Kevin Durant, who tumbled, lost the ball and gave the Spurs a golden chance to win. Danny Green picked up the ball, Patty Mills was well ahead of him and only Steven Adams was on patrol for the Thunder. And Ginobili was trailing close behind. It

  • Spurs fan: Popovich coached a bad game

    Spurs fan: Popovich coached a bad game

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, May 3, 2016

      Heath Holt is a big Spurs fan who works at the Federal Aviation Administration in Oklahoma City. Heath writes me frequently, offering Spurs updates. Heath wrote Monday night after Game 2 of Thunder-Spurs, and his observations were interesting enough to share: “Some very very unhappy notes from the Spurs-Thunder game. Make no mistake, the Spurs fans are steaming mad… Pop’s coaching was bad, Kansas football bad. Pulling a hot Kawhi Leonard who had just made three shots in a row and subbing in Ginobili to guard Westbrook (sheer lunacy). Telling the players in the huddle, “Just relax, we have the whole rest of the game ahead of us.” Just relax? I think they were pretty relaxed.




Berry Tramel Today at 2:02 AM Epic collapse by Durant & Westbrook forces Game 7 https://t.co/pD0dJRZ9NE
Berry Tramel Today at 2:02 AM Report card: Grading the Thunder's performance in Game 6 https://t.co/VxFeCC0saB
Berry Tramel Fri, May. 27 2016 08:49:06 PM CST OKC Thunder journal: Billy Donovan leaves Draymond Green's continued kicking in NBA's hands https://t.co/rCwZVZ0ZvX
Berry Tramel Fri, May. 27 2016 07:03:44 PM CST Thunder has flipped the script against Golden State https://t.co/1NhYGM4N8V
Berry Tramel Fri, May. 27 2016 02:23:45 PM CST Did foul shot discrepancy cost Thunder in Game 5? https://t.co/I98snXlEbk
Berry Tramel Fri, May. 27 2016 12:07:24 PM CST Oakland travelblog: The views from Coit Tower https://t.co/Ab7w5Bj9Lx
Berry Tramel Fri, May. 27 2016 10:57:58 AM CST The two reasons why Baylor fired Art Briles https://t.co/XJsHf7L4nq
Berry Tramel Fri, May. 27 2016 12:37:25 AM CST Warriors go big to stay alive vs. Thunder https://t.co/AcmJKl1ZHp
Berry Tramel Thu, May. 26 2016 07:14:35 PM CST If Steph Curry is 70 percent, how do you explain Game 2? https://t.co/kySitCSwIz
Berry Tramel Thu, May. 26 2016 02:22:46 PM CST Oakland travelblog: Working on little sleep https://t.co/eXUpNR6CId
Berry Tramel Thu, May. 26 2016 07:12:22 AM CST Steve Kerr says Warriors' psyche isn't damaged https://t.co/ZJLcQRkvaJ
Berry Tramel Wed, May. 25 2016 08:40:13 PM CST Thunder's buy-in to Billy Donovan is paying off https://t.co/Ts3C0mge5A
Berry Tramel Wed, May. 25 2016 06:42:08 PM CST Warriors will have to make history to rally vs. Thunder https://t.co/sNeHfhVjdG
Berry Tramel Wed, May. 25 2016 03:51:43 PM CST Thunder scoring best of both worlds vs. Warriors https://t.co/xoDWklI5bC
Berry Tramel Wed, May. 25 2016 10:10:50 AM CST Thunder blowouts have Warriors frustrated https://t.co/YzPCc33i7Z
Berry Tramel Wed, May. 25 2016 12:44:48 AM CST Thunder exacts the ultimate revenge on Draymond Green https://t.co/yvz6MXQqgf
Berry Tramel Tue, May. 24 2016 07:59:47 PM CST Is this 2-1 deficit different for the Warriors? https://t.co/CVEY6d5BqL
Berry Tramel Tue, May. 24 2016 10:48:27 AM CST Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Berry Tramel https://t.co/pYDIpNAunU
Berry Tramel Tue, May. 24 2016 08:51:43 AM CST Steven Adams accustomed to low blows: He played rugby https://t.co/teRMGvRzpM
Berry Tramel Mon, May. 23 2016 09:09:27 PM CST HITTING WHERE IT HURTS: Low blows have become more prevalent in the NBA https://t.co/odx2cfbNQ4

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