The Celtics will get some play on the airwaves today, and not really for a positive reason. Things aren’t going so well in the early part of the season, and Gary Payton thinks some things need to change, starting with Paul Pierce’s game and attitude. Steve Bulpett has the view from Payton about the situation here, what he’d like to do to attempt to fix it, and the likelihood that this is his only season with the Celtics. Payton believes he needs to be allowed to take more control of the team and that Pierce’s life will be considerably easier if he were to fully commit to the running game. An interesting bit from Payton, and certainly from this perspective, something that is sorely needed on this squad.

Shira Springer, meanwhile, talks to Paul Pierce about the current state of the Celtics. The Captain, while frustrated with the team’s won-loss record and inconsistency, believes that the team is working towards a more unselfish style of play. On a totally different note, the saga that is the life of former Celtic Chris Herren took another sad twist early Monday morning when he was found unconscious in his car in a Dunkin Donuts parking lot after having crashed into the building. Heroin residue was found in the car. Mark Murphy, Jonathan Comey and Gregg Miliote all have articles on the incident. That last article is the only one to have quotes from Herren himself on the incident and what it means to his future. Bulpett’s notebook has Pierce’s view of the current Celtics situation and has an update on FSN announcer Mike Gorman’s condition.

As expected, the Red Sox offered salary arbitration to eight of their free agents. Each major paper has an article with essentially the same information. Michael Silverman’s piece has a source saying that Pedro will not accept arbitration, and that the Mets aren’t going to guarantee a fourth year for him. Gordon Edes says the Sox aren’t going to be making changes just for the sake of making changes. Sean McAdam also says the likelihood of Martinez accepting arbitration is slim, and that the Sox might make some moves at the Winter meetings in Anaheim starting tomorrow. David Heuschkel looks at the players involved and some other current Red Sox news items. David Borges also looks at possible Red Sox moves and decisions this winter. Joe Haggerty has more on the Red Sox.

With Nomar Garciaparra accepting a one year deal with the Cubs yesterday, Lenny Megliola says it’s hard to believe how far the former Red Sox shortstop’s stock has plummeted. Steve Buckley (Subscription only) says that Derek Lowe’s exit is probably the best thing for all involved. The Red Sox are worried about his struggles the last couple seasons (except for the postseason, of course) and the pitcher could probably use a fresh start somewhere else without all the pressure that comes with Boston. Dan Shaughnessy weighs in on the steroid issue and says that the real Evil Empire in baseball is the Players Association, not the Yankees. Michael Gee says he’ll vote for Barry Bonds for the Hall of Fame when the time comes, and that steroids are just another aspect of the game not really worth getting all worked up over. Jim Donaldson feels he’s got the answers to all the pressing problems in sports.

Michael Felger has an extended one-on-one interview with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who touches on becoming comfortable with who he is off the field, the perception in some quarters that he’s having an off year, the addition of Corey Dillon to the offense, and what the future holds for himself and Richard Seymour. Nick Cafardo talks to the parents of Bengals QB Carson Palmer, who actually live and work in Boston. Michael Parente looks at how the Bengals have yet to put it all together. Christopher Price looks at the talent on the Bengals roster.Chris Kennedy looks at the jumbled playoff picture.

Felger’s Patriots Insider looks at Corey Dillon facing his old team this Sunday, Charlie Weis not getting contacted by Notre Dame as of yet, the success of Jermaine Wiggins, and a couple other items. Cafardo’s notebook has some good information on the contract incentives of Corey Dillon.

ESPN has more college hoops tonight with Notre Dame/Indiana at 7:00 and Oklahoma/Purdue at 9:00. ESPN2 has Minnesota/Nebraska at 9:00. NESN’s SportsPlus will have Gordon Edes, Jackie MacMullan and Kevin Dupont to talk Red Sox hot stove, and Nick Cafardo also goes one-on-one with Ted Johnson.