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.

  • Tom Osborne agrees: 13th game matters

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    I came across something funny Tuesday. I googled “Bob Bowlsby” and “Big 12 championship game.” The first item listed was from May 5, on The headline read: “Bowlsby: Big 12 in no hurry to add title game.” The second item listed was from April 29, on That headline read: “Bob Bowlsby: Big 12 […]

  • Who has replaced Donald Sterling as the NBA's worst owner?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    Many are the things that make a major-league franchise great. Talent. Coaching. Scouting. Money. They all help. But none is more important than ownership. Good ownership doesn’t guarantee success. Bad ownership guarantees failure. Look no further than Los Angeles, where the Lakers went from relevant to irrelevant almost overnight, with the death of owner Dr. Jerry Buss. And where the Clippers, despite an impressive array of talent for one of the few times in their existence, nearly imploded under the nonsense of Donald Sterling. The latest poster child for bad ownership is Vivek Ranadive of the Sacramento Kings.

  • Thunder's worst-case scenario for LaMarcus Aldridge

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    LaMarcus Aldridge’s free-agency recruitment begins Tuesday night. We know who wants him (any team with cap space) and we generally know which teams Aldridge wants. But let’s look at it from another angle. Where’s Aldridge best (or worst) destination from a Thunder perspective? Ranking the Aldridge pursuers, from worst-case scenario to best-case scenario for OKC: Houston: The Rockets would have to clear some cap space to make room for Aldridge, but give general manager Darrell Morey credit. He’s fashioned a flexible roster that also is talented. With Dwight Howard and Trevor Ariza and probably Patrick Beverley, Houston has defensive anchors. With James Harden, Houston has a bonafide superstar.

  • Toronto could be attractive destination for NBA free agents

    By Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    The NBA’s free agency season begins Wednesday, and few stars are expected to migrate to the Atlantic Division, where the Raptors are competitive, the Celtics are interesting and the three other teams — New York, Brooklyn and Philadelphia — are drowning in something resembling hopelessness. Here’s the final division in our look at each NBA team’s salary situation: RAPTORS Under contract: Kyle Lowry $12M, DeMar DeRozen $10.1M, Patrick Patterson $6.26M, Jonas Valanciunas $4.66M, Terrence Ross $3.55M, James Johnson $2.5M, Lucas Nogueira $1.84M, Bruno Cabocio $1.52M. Unrestricted free agent: Amir Johnson, Landry Fields, Charles Hayes, Lou Williams, Tyler Hansbrough, Greg Stiemsma.

  • 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

  • Put Pete Rose in Cooperstown, just not in the Hall of Fame

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Jun 29, 2015

    The Pete Rose debate is back in the public marketplace, and the irony is deep. Rose is back in the news because he bet on baseball while he was a player. Puts a new meaning into the term, Charlie Hustle. ESPN’s Outside the Lines obtained a notebook that shows Rose’s betting practices, including betting on baseball and betting on Reds games while playing for Cincinnati. Rose agreed to a lifetime ban from baseball in 1989 after a Major League Baseball investigation determined he bet on his team to win while managing the club. For 15 years, Rose maintained that he never bet on baseball. But in 2004, Rose admitted to betting on baseball but said he bet only while a manager, not as a player. Now we know

  • 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.

  • NBA offseason: Does the Heat have the Southeast Division's worst talent?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Jun 29, 2015

    Miami once ruled the NBA Southeast Division, but the Heat might have the least talent of any of the five teams, based solely on summer roster. Let’s continue our series on the off-season rosters of each NBA team, with the Southeast. HAWKS Under contract: Al Horford $12M, Jeff Teague $8M, Kyle Korver $5.74M, Thabo Sefolosha $4M, Mike Scott $3.33M, Shelvin Mack $2.43M, Kent Bazemore $2M, Dennis Schroder $1.76M. Unrestricted free agent: Paul Millsap, DeMarre Carroll, Elton Brand, John Jenkins. Restricted free agent: Pero Antic $1.56M. Non-guaranteed: Mike Muscala $0.94M, Austin Daye $1.18M. Guaranteed money: $39.27M. Outlook: Atlanta is in excellent shape to re-sign Carroll and

  • 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.

  • Emergency fill-in at Alamo Bowl put Lincoln Riley on Stoops' radar

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Sat, Jun 27, 2015

    The 2009 Alamo Bowl wasn’t the most conducive environment for success. Not if you were in Texas Tech red. Remember the old George Costanza line, “the sea was rough that day, my friend”? Well, on Jan. 2, 2010, the stadium was rough. Tech had suspended coach Mike Leach, and the Alamodome brewed with discontent. Leach’s staff backed him. So did Tech fans, who held up “Team Leach” signs. But Tech players weren’t so supportive, many indicating they were on the side of teammate Adam James, whose treatment by Leach led to the suspension. Amidst the turmoil, a funny thing happened. The old Texas Tech offense broke out. The Red Raiders, who weren’t having a glorious season, beat Michigan State 41-31. And

  • Bob Barry Jr. stories will help a hurting state

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    It’s been a rough week. We lost Bob Barry Jr., someone we all knew and seemed like always was part of our lives. The memorial service Friday at Crossings Community Church was historic. The biggest funeral most of us could remember. More dignitaries than empty seats. The Barry family designed a service dedicated to laughter and good memories. Mission accomplished. It’s just what Oklahomans needed. The tonic for BBJ’s family is not so simple, but hopefully the stories helped. High school teammate Greg Blackburn told of BBJ streaking story through Norman’s Central Junior High in 1973, and if you don’t know what streaking is, ask your parents. Don’t google it.

  • Tramel: After 49 years, Channel 4 will never be the same

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

    In 1966, the Braves were in Milwaukee, the Marines were in Vietnam and the Beatles were in mop-tops. In 1966, Jim Mackenzie coached the Sooners. Phil Cutchin coached the Cowboys. Eddie Sutton coached Southern Idaho Junior College. In 1966, Channel 4 hired Bob Barry. And for 49 years, a Bob Barry, Senior or Junior, delivered the nightly sports into Oklahoma homes. Until last weekend, when Bob Barry Jr. was killed in a motor scooter crash. Gone too young, at age 58. News changes. Television changes. Viewers change. But some things stayed the same. For half a century, Channel 4 had an iconic Bob Barry reporting sports. Channel 4 has changed call letters more often (twice) than it’s changed sports directors

  • Readers lament the loss of Bob Barry Jr.

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    Reader responses to our Bob Barry Jr. tributes have been overwhelming. I thought I would share some with you: Bill Khourie: “Just finished reading your piece on BBJ and yes, so many thousands felt like they knew him and knew him well. I lost my only son over Christmas break while in his last year at OU, Jan. 6, 2009. Many of his friends started a memorial golf tournament and banquet to honor his life and his dedication to his younger sister that he dearly loved. She was born with a very rare syndrome that drastically altered her life. She graduated as a special education student, but her brother took her to the senior prom so she could enjoy the same experience as the other high school students. It was her only time

  • 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.

  • NBA off-season: What will Kevin Love & Jimmy Butler do?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jun 24, 2015

    Our division-by-division series on the current status of NBA rosters going into the free agent season next week now turns to the Eastern Conference, where the decisions of Kevin Love (Cleveland) and Jimmy Butler (Chicago) could determine the balance of power. CAVALIERS Under contract: Kyrie Irving $15.85M, Anderson Varejao $9.63M, Timofey Mozgov $4.95M, Joe Harris $0.84M. Player option: LeBron James $21.57M, Kevin Love $16.74M, J.R. Smith $6.39M, Mike Miller $2.85M. Unrestricted free agent: Shawn Marion, James Jones, Kendrick Perkins. Restricted free agent: Tristan Thompson, Iman Shumpert, Matthew Dellavedova. Non-guaranteed: Brendan Haywood $10.52M. Guaranteed money: $31.29M.

  • 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,” declared in its analysis of Richardson, which you can read in its entirety

  • Tramel: Big 12, Bedlam rivals could be helped by backloaded football schedule

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Updated: Wed, Jun 24, 2015

    College football’s roving capital settled in the Magnolia State last October. Mississippi State was ranked No. 1 the week of Oct. 21; Ole Miss was ranked No. 3. Both were unbeaten and untied, and dreams of an Egg Bowl showdown for national supremacy spread from Biloxi to Tupelo. It was a mirage, of course. By season’s end, neither Mississippi squad was in the top 10; Mississippi State was a 15-point loser to Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl, and Ole Miss was a 39-point loser to TCU in the Peach Bowl. They combined for seven defeats. But for a precious few weeks, the autumn cathedrals of Mississippi shone brightest. The same could happen in Oklahoma this October. The Big 12 schedule has been backloaded. All the

  • Big 12 football traditions rounding into shape

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jun 24, 2015

    After the chaos caused by conference realignment, the annual Big 12 football schedule is starting to take shape. I wrote about the 2015 conference schedule for the Wednesday Oklahoman, which you can read here. But part of the '15 schedule is some games that have taken root in various spots on the calendar. Bedlam, for example. For many years, Bedlam was not an end-of-season staple. But as the OU-Nebraska series died, and OSU improved, and Bedlam got so much more important, the Bedlam has migrated to the end of the season. Bedlam this season will be played Nov. 28, which is Thanksgiving Saturday. It's the 11th straight year Bedlam will be played on Thanksgiving Saturday or the first Saturday of December.

  • NBA free agency: Can Clippers keep DeAndre Jordan?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    The NBA’s Pacific Division includes two great teams. The champion Warriors and the contending Clippers. But both are well over the salary cap and face luxury tax implications in trying to keep indispensable members of their team. The free agency period, which starts next week, is going to be fascinating: WARRIORS Under contract: Klay Thompson […]

  • NBA off-season: Rockets, Pelicans have rosters set

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    The best division in the NBA sports five teams that made the playoffs. But they are not all in the same spot this off-season. The Rockets and the Pelicans have their rosters mostly secure, the Grizzlies can say the same if they secure free agent center Marc Gasol, the Spurs have a lot of decisions […]

Berry Tramel Today at 7:37 AM Will Pistons come to regret Reggie Jackson contract? LINK
Berry Tramel Mon, Jul. 06 2015 07:33:47 PM CST How could Kevin Durant possibly be a better teammate? LINK
Berry Tramel Mon, Jul. 06 2015 06:16:45 PM CST Oklahoma State football making history with 'I'm A-OK' autism initiative at Boone Pickens Stadium LINK
Berry Tramel Mon, Jul. 06 2015 05:00:23 PM CST Which combination of schools is the best Big 12 option? LINK
Berry Tramel Mon, Jul. 06 2015 04:07:57 PM CST How have Baker Mayfield and Trevor Knight played on the road? LINK
Berry Tramel Mon, Jul. 06 2015 01:31:07 PM CST Baker Mayfield's shoulder won't affect the quarterback derby LINK
Berry Tramel Mon, Jul. 06 2015 11:42:53 AM CST Reggie Jackson and Enes Kanter remain linked LINK
Berry Tramel Mon, Jul. 06 2015 11:34:01 AM CST Tramel: Please explain why a 10-team Big 12 won't work? LINK
Berry Tramel Sat, Jul. 04 2015 06:22:39 PM CST Analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of Big 12 expansion candidates LINK
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