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.


  • Thunder blowouts have Warriors frustrated

    Berry Tramel | Updated: 1 hr ago

    When these NBA playoffs started, the Thunder had played 73 post-season games since hanging out a shingle in Oklahoma City. The Thunder had won four of those games by more than 20 points. Now OKC has won four more games by more than 20 points, including stunning back-to-back blowouts of the mighty Warriors just in the last three days. And that quartet of routs doesn’t include the Game 6 demolition of San Antonio in the closeout game of the West semifinals, when OKC took a 24-point halftime lead and led by 28 late in the third quarter before coasting to a 113-99 victory. The Thunder is doing more than just making historic conquests, beating the likes of the 67-win Spurs and leading the 73-win Warriors. The Thunder is

  • Thunder exacts the ultimate revenge on Draymond Green

    Thunder exacts the ultimate revenge on Draymond...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Wed, May 25, 2016

    Draymond Green drove in for a meaningless layup, a chance to pad a starving stat line in the final minutes of another Thunder blowout, and Kevin Durant jumped up for a ferocious block. While the rest of the ballplayers scampered downcourt, Durant turned and dramatically pumped his fist into the air. Durant likely would have preferred a different target, but as an exclamation point in what became a 118-94, Game 4 rout of the mighty Warriors, it will do. The Thunder not only took a commanding 3-1 lead Tuesday night in these Western Conference finals, it reminded of the ultimate answer for revenge. Live well. An angry Chesapeake Arena crowd demanded blood in the wake of the NBA not suspending Green for his below-the-belt

  • Is this 2-1 deficit different for the Warriors?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: 15 hr ago

    These Golden State Warriors have been down before. En route to the NBA championship last season, the Warriors trailed 2-1 to both Memphis in the West semifinals and Cleveland in the NBA Finals. So Golden State won’t panic just because it trails the Thunder 2-1 in these Western Conference finals. “Pretty much exactly the same,” Warrior coach Steve Kerr said. “You're down 2-1, you're in a hole. You've got to win on the road, so it's the same feeling.” Except it’s not. The Grizzlies and Cavaliers took 2-1 leads by playing big, slowing down and mashing the smallish Warriors. Memphis beat Golden State 97-90 in Oakland in Game 2, then won 99-89 in Game 3. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph

  • Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Berry Tramel

    Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Berry Tramel

    From Staff Reports | Updated: 23 hr ago

    Talk about the Thunder, OU and OSU with columnist Berry Tramel today at 11 a.m.

  • Steven Adams accustomed to low blows: He played rugby

    Berry Tramel | Yesterday

    Growing up in New Zealand, rugby was Steven Adams’ first athletic love. Now you know why he seems unfazed by all the mayhem around him. Adams has taken low-blow shots from Draymond Green in each of the last two games of the Western Conference finals. That’s the progression from earlier in Adams’ career, when he absorbed a variety of hits, in more politically correct places, from opponents frustrated at Adams’ physicality. But NBA basketball is square dancing compared to rugby, which in terms of physicality is American football without pads. Heck, just for fun, I googled “rugby” and “low blows”, just to see what I would get. The first thing that popped up was this headline:

  • HITTING WHERE IT HURTS: Low blows have become more prevalent in the NBA

    HITTING WHERE IT HURTS: Low blows have become...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com   | Updated: Mon, May 23, 2016

    Two straight games with direct hits on your manhood will make anyone carry themselves a little more gingerly.

  • No question: Draymond Green meant to kick Steven Adams

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, May 23, 2016

    The consensus in the pressroom after the Thunder’s 133-105 rout of the Warriors on Sunday night was that Golden State had gone into immediate damage control. Draymond Green kicked Steve Adams where you really ought not kick a man, Green received a flagrant-1 foul and dang near got a flagrant-2 and ejection, and the Thunder burst to a runaway victory. The referees conferred with the NBA Replay Center in Secaucus, N.J. It seemed for a moment that Green could be ejected. But that still could happen for Game 4. And Warriors coach Steve Kerr seems to know it. Kerr was the first person on the post-game podium after Game 3. Billy Donovan, Klay Thompson, the Russell Westbrook/Kevin Durant tandem and Steph Curry

  • How could the Thunder prepare for no Draymond Green?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, May 23, 2016

    How valuable is Draymond Green to the Golden State Warriors? Perhaps more valuable than Steph Curry, the league’s reigning MVP. As we await the NBA’s decision on whether to suspend Green for Game 4 of the Western Conference finals, let’s analyze what makes Green so valuable to Golden State. And make no mistake. He’s valuable. How many league MVPs play fewer minutes than a teammate? That’s what Curry did this season, averaging 34.2 minutes per game to Green’s 34.7. Curry at least has a backup. Green has no backup. When he comes out of games, the Warriors just play differently. Green is a 6-foot-6 hybrid. A defensive stopper who guards virtually every position.

  • Thunder's small-ball lineup produces amazing numbers

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, May 23, 2016

    The Thunder’s small-ball lineup was superb in Game 3 against the Warriors on Sunday night. Draymond Green’s kick of Steven Adams’ coconuts overshadowed everything, including the small-ball dominance. I wrote about it for the Monday Oklahoman, which you can read here. The numbers are astounding. Billy Donovan used three small-ball lineups, all of which included Serge Ibaka as the center but not all of which had Kevin Durant as the power forward. For 2-1/2 minutes, Donovan used a lineup of Russell Westbrook, Dion Waiters, Andre Roberson, Randy Foye and Ibaka. That unit outscored the Warriors 13-7. Think about that. A small-ball lineup without Durant outscored Golden State.

  • Donovan's reliance on small ball kick starts Thunder rout

    Donovan\'s reliance on small ball kick starts...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Mon, May 23, 2016

    Draymond Green again kicked Steven Adams in the family jewels, Chesapeake Arena erupted in anger, the legislature convened on the fly to remove Patrick Beverley from Public Enemy No. 1 status and soon enough the Thunder retaliated by kicking the Golden State Warriors in the you-know-what. But don't go thinking that rage was the dynamite that kick-started the Thunder's stunning 133-105 rout of Golden State on Sunday night that gives OKC a 2-1 series lead in the Western Conference finals. Billy Donovan did that with his lineup. Donovan flipped the script. The Thunder's strength is size. OKC can bully a smallish team like the Warriors and did in a Game 1 upset.

  • Thunder Report Card: Grading OKC's 133-105 win over Golden State in Game 3

    Thunder Report Card: Grading OKC\'s 133-105 win...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Sun, May 22, 2016

    The Thunder got ahead early and then played even better. The result was a resounding blowout of Golden State, 133-105, that gives OKC a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference finals, and the grades reflect a superb performance. SECOND-QUARTER DEFENSE: A. The Warriors were playing decent basketball for awhile. They made 14 of their first 25 shots. Then the Thunder defense got ferocious. Golden State made just six of 31 shots in the second quarter. That's 19 percent. Warriors coach Steve Kerr blamed it on quick shots and impatience. Maybe so. Golden State made just two of 11 3-pointers in the second quarter. But even when the Warriors were getting in the lane, their shots weren't going in. Golden State in the second quarter made

  • Despite blowout win, Golden State "down" 1-1

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Sat, May 21, 2016

    The Thunder left Oakland disappointed Wednesday night. The Western Conference finals were tied 1-1. A couple of weeks earlier, the Thunder left San Antonio elated. The Western Conference semifinals were tied 1-1. That was the result of order of verdicts. In Oakland, the Thunder suffered a blowout defeat in Game 2. In San Antonio, the Thunder suffered a blowout defeat in Game 1. The Thunder has proven over the years that blowout defeats don’t affect it much. Doesn’t portend future success or failure. About the only thing the order of a 1-1 playoff road trip affects is the mood on the flight home and of the fan base until Game 3. In fact, the Warriors’ Draymond Green, even after a 118-91

  • Russell Westbrook vs. Steph Curry: May this series never end

    Russell Westbrook vs. Steph Curry: May this...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Sat, May 21, 2016

    Lay aside strategy and emotions and ramifications. Ponder, if you can, just how special it is to see a fortnight of duels with the NBA’s must-watch stars, Westbrook and Curry, in action.

  • Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Berry Tramel

    Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Berry Tramel

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Fri, May 20, 2016

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

  • Oakland travelblog: Won't miss California traffic

    Oakland travelblog: Won\'t miss California traffic

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Fri, May 20, 2016

    I’m home. But it took a long Thursday to get there. Photographer Nate Billings and I had an 11:55 a.m. flight out of Oakland. A noon flight let us sleep in a little after a late night covering Game 2 of Thunder-Warriors. It was even a direct flight – but to Dallas. We found a $74 one-way price from Oakland to Dallas on Southwest, so we jumped on it. That meant a one-way car rental from Dallas’ Love Field to OKC, but the savings was several hundred dollars. We thought it was worth it, considering how much the company is having to spend to cover the Western Conference Finals. Expensive to fly to, expensive to stay in, even if you’re not in San Francisco.

  • Thunder no stranger to playoff blowouts

    Thunder no stranger to playoff blowouts

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Thu, May 19, 2016

    The Thunder was blown out in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. Golden State put a 118-91 licking on the Thunder, evening the series at 1-1. It was a reasonably tight game, 64-57, early in the third quarter, then it was 83-62 barely three minutes later. The good news? The Thunder is no stranger to playoff routs. And OKC has mostly withstood such body blows to its ledger and its pride. Since entering the playoff sweepstakes in 2010, the Thunder has been on the wrong end of six blowouts. Here’s how bad they were, and how OKC responded. 2016: The Spurs whipped the Thunder every way possible, 124-92 in Game 1 of the West semifinals. The lead was 43 points at one point. Yet the Thunder rallied to win

  • Thunder must make Warriors pay for gimmick defense

    Thunder must make Warriors pay for gimmick defense

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Thu, May 19, 2016

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Remember basketball's old box-and-one defense? One defender played man-to-man defense, typically on a star, and the rest of the team played zone. The Golden State Warriors are doing the opposite against the Thunder. Four defenders play man-to-man, one plays zone. The Warriors' Draymond Green is ignoring Andre Roberson, just as San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard did in the latter stages of the Thunder-Spurs series. But don't indict Golden State coach Steve Kerr for theft of intellectually property. Kerr has added a twist. He's not having Green stay in the lane and clog the drives and passes of the Thunder ballhandlers. Kerr is having Green roam to cause mayhem. Double-teaming Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook, 25,

  • Oakland travelblog: Meeting the refs

    Oakland travelblog: Meeting the refs

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Thu, May 19, 2016

    I told you yesterday about meeting NBA referee Kane Fitzgerald on the elevator of Oakland’s downtown Courtyard by Marriott. Darned if on Wednesday I didn’t meet the other three refs that  were part of the Game 2 officiating crew. I’m on the fourth floor. Headed downstairs to go to Thunder shootaround Wednesday morning, the elevator stopped on 3, and James Williams stepped in. I immediately recognized him as an NBA ref. On the second floor, Mike Callahan joined us. Downstairs, I had a brief chat with Callahan. Told him how good I thought NBA officiating is. Which is true. I’m not blowing smoke. We’re lucky enough to sit near the court for a lot of games, and down there, you see a much

  • The Thunder has concerns beyond the Stephen Curry flurry that decided Game 2

    The Thunder has concerns beyond the Stephen...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Thu, May 19, 2016

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The Thunder mainstays sat dejectedly on the bench for most of the fourth quarter Wednesday night, watching the Warriors finish off an 118-91 rout that evened the series 1-1. They trudged off the Oracle Arena court facing not just a midnight flight back home, but knowing they would have to solve a Golden State riddle three more times to reach the NBA Finals. They talked about how they can play better and smarter and harder back in Oklahoma City. But what has to alarm the Thunder is this. The Thunder played good defense, really good defense, on Steph Curry most of the game. They roughed him up and had him frustrated. They made him work. They didn't give him an abundance of shots. And yet Curry

  • Thunder report card: The grades reflect a poor Thunder performance

    Thunder report card: The grades reflect a poor...

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Wed, May 18, 2016

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The Thunder was close early, even took the lead for 12 seconds in the second quarter, but eventually was swamped by the Warriors, 118-91 in a Game 2 rout that evened the Western Conference Finals. The grades reflect a poor Thunder performance. DEFENSIVE REBOUNDING: F. Through three quarters, the Warriors had missed 36 shots or retrievable foul shots. Golden State rebounded 17 of those 36 shots. The Thunder's rebounding was atrocious. It was outscored 15-5 in second-chance points. In particular, the Thunder was dominated in the first half. The Warriors scored on their final seven possessions of the first half, and two of those trips came courtesy of Festus Ezeli follow shots. SMALL LINEUP: D.




Berry Tramel Today at 10:10 AM Thunder blowouts have Warriors frustrated https://t.co/YzPCc33i7Z
Berry Tramel Today at 12:44 AM 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
Berry Tramel Mon, May. 23 2016 04:22:35 PM CST How could the Thunder prepare for no Draymond Green? https://t.co/40SZfvJc2Z
Berry Tramel Mon, May. 23 2016 03:19:50 PM CST Thunder's small-ball lineup produces amazing numbers https://t.co/mXWfOWBheb
Berry Tramel Mon, May. 23 2016 10:07:46 AM CST No question: Draymond Green meant to kick Steven Adams https://t.co/ChSuVxpp2L
Berry Tramel Mon, May. 23 2016 12:40:28 AM CST Donovan's reliance on small ball kick starts Thunder rout https://t.co/o66TRtoLZP
Berry Tramel Sun, May. 22 2016 11:48:56 PM CST Thunder Report Card: Grading OKC's 133-105 win over Golden State in Game 3 https://t.co/tHmIoA1IPW
Berry Tramel Sat, May. 21 2016 10:03:13 PM CST Despite blowout win, Golden State "down" 1-1 https://t.co/YnsOJbORlh
Berry Tramel Sat, May. 21 2016 08:18:43 PM CST Russell Westbrook vs. Steph Curry: May this series never end https://t.co/6eGbGjVMjx
Berry Tramel Fri, May. 20 2016 10:54:26 AM CST Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Berry Tramel https://t.co/3g98r7wYYg
Berry Tramel Fri, May. 20 2016 09:52:45 AM CST Oakland travelblog: Won't miss California traffic https://t.co/bHDDFTNewg
Berry Tramel Thu, May. 19 2016 09:18:14 PM CST Thunder no stranger to playoff blowouts https://t.co/9nr9F21WYf
Berry Tramel Thu, May. 19 2016 08:48:07 PM CST Thunder must make Warriors pay for gimmick defense https://t.co/3UXtu2Gbwv
Berry Tramel Thu, May. 19 2016 11:24:03 AM CST Oakland travelblog: Meeting the refs https://t.co/jCfrRBHndg
Berry Tramel Thu, May. 19 2016 01:05:21 AM CST The Thunder has concerns beyond the Stephen Curry flurry that decided Game 2 https://t.co/gAEBBxMx7T
Berry Tramel Thu, May. 19 2016 01:05:20 AM CST Thunder report card: The grades reflect a poor Thunder performance https://t.co/JRPzzhS8Y4

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