Life came at Giants tight end Darren Waller and Aces guard Kelsey Plum fast after they tied the knot on March 4 in Las Vegas.
The Pro Bowler and WNBA champ were on cloud nine when they returned home to Las Vegas on March 13, following their honeymoon in Amanyara in Turks & Caicos.
Little did they know that 12 hours later, Waller would be flying to the East Coast to meet with the Giants after they acquired him in a trade with the Raiders.
“I got that call like 12 hours after we landed back,” Waller told The Post while discussing his his partnership with Invisalign. “So, it’s not how anybody would really want to start being married.
“But if you ever find yourself trying to resist change, it’s never going to be a good thing.”
After playing in the same city, Waller and Plum have embraced their situation while he gels within the Giants’ system and Plum chases her second consecutive WNBA championship with the top-seeded Aces.
“We are trying to find [out] like, OK, how can we grow from this?” the 31-year-old said. “This is happening for a reason, so why don’t we focus on the good that’s going to come from it as opposed to what may be considered as negative.”
Communication is key for the couple while they navigate their busy schedules in different time zones.
“[The distance] has forced us to grow in areas [such as] communication and just being mindful of each other’s days and routines and how each of us is doing amidst all the business — and I feel like we’ve done really well in handling that,” Waller said.
“Every opportunity that I get to be able to be where she’s at, I take advantage of those and I’m excited to just be around her. If it’s not that, then it’s us FaceTiming pretty much every night, and that’s about all we got to work with at the moment.”
Waller spent as much time as possible with Plum in the offseason after he learned of the trade via a FaceTime call from Giants head coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen.
“I was going to wherever my wife was every other weekend in the offseason from April to June, and then I was home for a month before camp,” Waller said, adding that he was back in Las Vegas with Plum over Labor Day weekend.
“Whenever I have the opportunity to do that, my butt is in the seat.”
Waller also catches his wife’s games when the Aces play the New York Liberty in Brooklyn.
It’s possible Plum — who won the 2023 WNBA All-Star Skills Challenge in Las Vegas with her Aces teammate, Chelsea Gray — will support Waller in person when the Giants visit San Francisco on “Thursday Night Football.”
The Aces swept the Chicago Sky in their best-of-three series in the first round of the WNBA playoffs, and will face the Dallas Wings (who swept the Atlanta Dream) in the best-of-five semifinals starting Sept. 24.
Waller praised the first-team All-WNBA guard for her journey to becoming a champion.
“People pretty much know that my story has been one of a lot of adversity and kind of responded to it,” said Waller, who’s been open about his past addiction issues.
“But hers is the same way, [in terms of] her career not starting with at the rate that expectations would have expected her to and then tearing her Achilles. But since that [injury], her game has just continued to expand and grow and she’s a certified star and she’s earned every bit of it.”
Plum, the No. 1 pick in 2017 WNBA draft, tore her left Achilles in June 2020, and missed that season.
She came off the bench when she made her return to the court and had a career year — which included winning WNBA Sixth Player of the Year and finishing second in the WNBA Most Improved Player voting.
Plum also won a gold medal as a member of Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics in June 2021.
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“She’s the probably the best well-conditioned athlete I’ve seen, male or female — ever,” Waller said. “And then just the detail with which she goes about her routine, from how the schedule is set up, to what she’s doing in each and every one of those sessions.
“It’s no surprise whatsoever as to why she’s so successful and she doesn’t just roll out of bed and it just happens. She’s locked in.”
The relationship between Waller and Plum — whom reportedly starting dating last year — became headline news last year due to loose lips.
The couple had not publicly shared their plans to get married, but Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler reportedly outed the nuptials days prior to it happening.
Plum responded to a post on X — then Twitter — from former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III, who joked that McDaniels’ wedding present was to trade Waller to the New York Giants.
“Prolly cause he wasn’t invited to the wedding lol,” Plum wrote on Twitter, adding in a separate post on Instagram that she and Waller were “so excited” for his move to New York.
Waller played in just nine games last season due to hamstring and knee injuries.
Now mostly healthy, the veteran receiving tight end is a top weapon for quarterback Daniel Jones, who he said has been nothing but welcoming.
Waller has nine catches for 112 yards spanning the first two games, including a six-catch, 76-yard performance in the 31-28 win over the Cardinals.
“We’re just two guys willing to put the work in two guys that aren’t too proud to listen to one another and do whatever needs to be changed, fixed or altered, we’re willing to do that,” Waller said. “I feel like it translated from day one of OTAs on the field all the way through training camp — just the consistency with which we both approach the craft.
“I feel like it’s been a great relationship and he’s been just a welcoming guy, a good friend. He’s a fun guy to be around. He’s funny, but he also knows how to put the work in.”
Waller vowed to stay true to himself and remain positive through any challenges thrown his way with the Giants and beyond.
“I’m going to give my all and everything that I have and step out with a smile on my face, whether things are going good or when things are going bad,” he said. “I also want people to know that I represent a lot of different causes — whether it’s gaining confidence through a smile because of Invisalign … or through my foundation.
“I do a lot of things because, you know, I don’t know how much more how much longer I’m guaranteed to be on this earth. So I want to be about things that I care about, and whatever it is I’m doing, I’m going to give my all.”
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