|One of the most versatile players in the world, Chuck Eidson, will make his Euroleague return on Thursday in a different uniform, the famous yellow of Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, which hosts Union Olimpija in the 2009-10 regular season opening game in Group C. A sold-out Nokia Arena will be full of 11,000 fans who know that Eidson is a unique talent who can range from point forward to post-up expert and every role in between. They also hope for him to be a leader for a Maccabi team striving to return to its mid-decade heights in the Euroleague. For those Maccabi fans, and many others he has around the continent, Eidson has good news in his Fan Mail answers: he's not only able, but ready and willing to help Maccabi make magic. "You want to play the highest possible level as you can," Eidson said in one answer "I don't think there's any place higher than Maccabi, so obviously it's a great feeling and I'm very grateful for it... We'll get better as times goes by, but the potential to do great things is surely there."
Chuck, the fans wish for you to be the leader of Maccabi because we believe you have that ability. Are you going to be that leader?
Kfir Baleli - Kiryat Gat, Israel
"In a team as good as this Maccabi team, to be considered as a leader is a very big accomplishment and I look forward to do well in that aspect, but there are also a lot of other players on this team that are very good and can help."
Hi, General Eidson. We miss you and want you back at Lietuvos Rytas, but...how are you so far at your new Euroleague club? You are the best,
Vytenis Surdokas – Lithuania
"So far it has been very good, and the club here of Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv is taking good care of me. It's always fun meeting new teammates and the people involved inside the club, but surely I'll miss the people back in Lithuania. The only thing still bothering me is that my family isn't here with me. They'll join me after we come back from the USA. It's the first time for me far from my kids, and it has been really hard. Everyday I need to be in touch with them, so it's an adjustment."
Hi Chuck.You are one of my favorite players over the years and I am very happy that you joined my team, Maccabi. From watching the pre-season games, it seems you and Alan Anderson are playing the same role. Can you play together without one of you disappearing some?
Shaul Naim - Tel Aviv
"I think we play two different roles on the team. Alan is a scorer and he's a scoring-minded type of player, and that's how he plays. I prefer to be more of an all-around player. I don't want to shoot the ball every time I get it. In the end, I think we'll complement each other very well, and it will help Maccabi be as successful as everybody wants."
How does it feel to play for one of the best teams ever in Europe, with a player like Derrick Sharp for a teammate?
Itay Tamir – Modiin, Israel
"When you start playing in your career you want to play the highest possible level as you can. I don't think there's any place higher than Maccabi, so obviously it's a great feeling and I'm very grateful for it. To have Derrick as a teammate is very unique, because he has seen and done anything. He's the ultimate guy to speak with if you want to learn things from someone who has been around for so long and achieved so much."
Hi Chuck. What do you like to do in your off-court leisure time?
Adi Israeli - Raanana, Israel
"When my family is with me, we go and take a walk in the park, try to enjoy quality family time. I'm usually not doing that much. After coming back home from games and practices, I'm taking it easy. I do like to read. Right now I'm reading a book called "The Chase" by Clive Cussler. Quite a good book. I'll probably finish it when I fly with Maccabi to play the NBA games against the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers."
Chuck, can you tell us about the potential of Gal Mekel, who many fans around have not seen yet?
Toby Meade - England
"I think Gal is a tremendous talent. The one thing I can give him advice on is to take his time and things are going to come. From what he has been doing last year and so far this year, I look forward to see him grow here and become a better player day by day."
Hi, General Chuck. Last season, you were amazing. Can we expect games like your 41 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists in the Baltic League final this season with Maccabi? Which position are you playing most so far this season?
Martynas Leisys - Lithuania
"It's going to hard to duplicate what I did last year because I had the ball so much. To reach double-figure scoring and to have an index rating in the high teens or early 20s is going to be my goal. I don't see myself shooting 20 to 25 times in a game like I had to do sometimes with Rytas. Mostly, I believe I can play four positions in the Israeli League, but in the Euroleague you'll see me play in the 1-2-3 positions."
Hi Chuck. Considering that many Euroleague teams at the highest level have been playing together for several years, do you honestly think that practically an all-new Maccabi team can get to the Final Four? Thanks in advance,
Nikos - Athens
"There's a learning curve at the beginning of the season in every team and that's the case with Maccabi, too. We won a lot of games in pre-season and we lost one: it was a learning experience for all of us. We've surely grown up in the last month-and-a-half. We'll get better as times goes by, but the potential to do great things is surely there."
Hello Chuck. How does it feel to play for a legend like Pini Gershon and his fast-paced basketball? Best of luck!
Matan Cohen - Tel Aviv
"I love it. I think it's a great way to play, but it's not like you just run and shoot a terrible shot and come back and don't play defense. We like to run and score points, but there are other things involved, and the system is more than just playing fast. So far I have had a great time with him and I'm looking forward to winning games in the Euroleague with Coach Gershon."
Chuck, they talk about the importance of getting chemistry fast on a team like Maccabi, with many new players. How is that done?
Dani Levy - Rishon Lezion, Israel
"Basically what we need to do is be around each other and play. As much as you want to practice, you want to play games, because a practice is never like a game, and when playing you learn so much more about yourself. We've had 10 or 11 games already in the pre-season and things start getting better and better. We're growing and it's going to be really good once things start cracking for us."