On the court that night, Goodrich was high scorer with 27 and he assumed the mantle from Hazzard. But poor Slaughter. He started 59 halves that season, but not the most important one, the last one, his last one ever. At the very acme of his team's success, Slaughter reached his nadir as a player. Afterward, many people did not know how to approach him, because they did not know what to say to him. they did not know whether he felt like a real winner. The team flew back to L.A. "When we got in," Slaughter recalls, "I just got off the plane by myself. I remember all the people celebrating, going to Walt and Gail, and I just walked right on by and went home."
That was the way his athletic career ended. But, of course, it wasn't any sort of real tragedy, because Slaughter has gone on to success in the rest of his life. If he had been a big deal in K.C., maybe it would have encouraged him to waste a lot of time working out and scrounging after gee-if dreams. It's a good bet that more athletes have loused up their lives gee-iffing than they have chasing women or running restaurants. There was a certain poetic justice to what happened to Slaughter. Of them all, he sacrificed the most for the team, and at the end he didn't contribute a thing, but the team made him a winner.
Besides being the assistant dean of the UCLA law school, Slaughter also represents several pro basketball and football players. Hirsch has put on muscles lifting weights, but Slaughter has gotten what you call "heavy-set," and McIntosh is taking on the prosperous look of an Episcopalian vicar, which he is not. He has an independent, evangelical parish, the Stone Mountain Community Church, outside Atlanta. "I always wanted to start a church from scratch," he says. There are 300 worshipers, and they just got a plot of land, and someday they may have their own building. For now, they must hold the services in the DeKalb Community College auditorium. But a church is not uppermost in the Rev. Mr. McIntosh's mind. He spends half his working life with his parishioners, half in preparation for his pastoral responsibilities.
"It's important for me to know who my people are," he says, "but I need the study time so I'll be sure to keep teaching them eternal things." He wears a gray suit, black shoes and brown socks, and of all the '64 Bruins he knows himself the best.
Washington, the other sophomore, had McIntosh's introspection and Goodrich's intensity; he found he could play against the best, beat the best, but he was not quite the best himself. It took him a while to get it out of his system. "You know what you miss?" he says. "You miss the tingling body." He played in Belgium after UCLA and then in the Army. Later he coached the UCLA women's team. But one day Washington decided that basketball could no longer fit into his life. "It's over," he thought. "Hey, this part is over." He is going to law school at night now, studying to be a tax lawyer. He is as lithe and baby-faced as ever, and he is also the only one who has never married.
As Washington embarks on a new phase of his life, Hirsch has already been what he calls "semiretired" for five years. His family had money from leading the bowling boom into Southern California. Now he and his wife run a couple of salons, named Hair Unlimited, and he invests in various enterprises. He also invented a device known as an air adapter, which is used to inflate the inside tires of trucks and recreational vehicles.
Hirsch, the iconoclast, the one who took it all the lightest, who screwed up at practice, is the one who dares speak of what they did as especially meaningful. "Of course, there's great self-satisfaction," he says. "Winning is a means to an end, it's an accomplishment, and I'm not afraid of accomplishment. I can look back and think: it was a success, wasn't it? We were successful."
None pretends that the victory did not matter. McIntosh could not sleep after UCLA beat Duke, so, finally, he got up and went down to the hotel lobby in Kansas City, where four or five of the other players were also sitting around, breathing it in. "It was a wonderful experience," McIntosh remembers, "but it's so hard to consider anything out of perspective. I mean, compare it to what I'm doing now, and it becomes absolutely insignificant. But is that fair? Never forget that I'm the answer to the trivia question: who preceded Abdul-Jabbar as the UCLA center?" He laughs. He has a pastor's manner, at once revealing and reassuring. "The great zone press. Do you know that after a while the second team could beat the press pretty regularly? That had a certain humbling effect. And Southern Cal—SC wasn't supposed to have a good coach, but they learned to split the press." He chuckles again, at the transparency of it all, at the folly of the flesh. "Anybody who got movies of our games with USC could have beaten the press."
From that championship, McIntosh has a set of tumblers, packed away somewhere, that were specially made up to celebrate the 30-0 season. His mother kept a scrapbook, and once in a blue moon he takes it out and skims it. "I can stand about 20 minutes," he says.
Goodrich played his 1,000th NBA game Jan. 13. He twisted his ankle and had to go out, but he was back in a couple of days for 1,001. In another time, when he and McIntosh were boys, they loved the same girl and learned something or other about victory.