Elliot Perry on Sir Charles
Posted: March 19, 2004
Elliot “Socks” Perry came to the Suns via the CBA in the 1993-94 season and quickly developed a strong relationship with Charles Barkley that continues to this day. Perry talked with Suns.com on Friday night about his unique friendship with Barkley and his days in Phoenix.
Suns.com: What are your thoughts about Barkley going up in the Ring of Honor?
Elliot Perry: For me personally it’s an honor. The relationship that we had, how he took me in… I talked to him last week and told him how I appreciated him being, not only just a teammate, but a good friend of mine. I’ll carry that for the rest of my life, to be able to play for the Phoenix Suns and be a good friend of Charles Barkley. I’ll honor that relationship.
Suns.com: How did your relationship with Barkley begin?
Perry: I think he realized I was guy that went out there every night and laid it on the line, played hard and he just took to me. Often on the road he too me to dinner sometimes and that made me feel good, especially when you come from the CBA. Your trying to make your way in the NBA, you’re trying to make headway and carve a niche for yourself. Other than that, I don’t really know how it got started, but it was a good relationship for me.
Suns.com: What are your favorite memories of Barkley during his playing days?
Perry: All the time he was lifting me up and picking me up. Some of the personal things he talked to me about just going out there and making sure you prepare yourself every night to go out there and play. Don’t worry about anything. Before I signed my contract here, a long-term deal here, he told me I was going to be here and he was going to try to make sure that the organization saw that I was going to be here. That relaxed me to just go out there and play and not worry about anything else. Him being behind me probably was one of the biggest things.
Suns.com: How did Barkley lifting you up start?
Perry: I tell you man, I don’t know. I’ve got pictures at home. I’ve got all the pictures because somebody always sends them to me. I’ve got one at my mom’s house where I’m over his head, at my house with him lifting me up. So, I really don’t know, it was just a fun thing. He was a guy who had a lot of character, who had a lot of spunk out on the court. I was the same way. I had a lot of enthusiasm and we just clicked.
Suns.com: What are you doing these days?
Perry: I’m back at home (in Memphis). I’ve been investing in real estate for the last five years, so I’ve been doing that on my own. I’ve been doing some volunteer work for the University of Memphis for the last two years helping with fund raising, helping to set up endowed scholarships for former athletes to come back and get their degrees, and be a university where everybody who didn’t get a degree has an opportunity to get it and not have to worry about paying for it.
Suns.com: What is it like for you to be back at AWA around all the fans who adored you so when you were in a Suns uniform?
Perry: It’s great. Phoenix is a second home for me. Other than Memphis, if I had to go anywhere else, it would be Phoenix. I love it here, I love the people here and the relationships I developed here. Like I said, it’s a home away from home for me.