David Fizdale is getting closer to becoming new Knicks coach

David Fizdale, a frontrunner from the start of this process, has reportedly "gained serious traction" to becoming the next Knicks coach.

A source confirmed that language reported by Yahoo! but also emphasized a deal with Fizdale was not finalized. As of Wednesday evening, other candidates had not been informed they were out of the race, according to multiple sources. Fizdale also interviewed - or was reportedly scheduled to interview -- for the jobs in Charlotte, Phoenix and Orlando.

The 43-year-old would be the safe, popular and predictable pick following an exhaustive search that included no less than 11 interviews. However, Fizdale's experience is limited as a head coach and he does carry the baggage of feuding with the star player - Marc Gasol -- at his previous stop in Memphis.

Considering the Knicks have their own European star in Kristaps Porzingis, the fallout between Gasol and Fizdale should be an important question.

Not long after he was fired, Fizdale essentially acknowledged a rift with Gasol but called it "normal stuff."

"That's the league. The best player and the coach aren't always going to get along and that's just how it goes sometimes," Fizdale said on ESPN. "He was the best player on teams and I'm sure he didn't always love his coach. It's just unfortunate circumstances how it all played out on the stage. But that's just normal stuff. Whether we like each or not it's not about that, it's about winning games."

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The issues with Gasol seemed to stem from philosophical differences.

"Marc is not tough to coach from a competitive, want-to-win perspective," a Memphis source said. "He's just like any other player when it comes to - we have to do things this way versus how you do it. That's players. Always good players have an idea how it should be done.

"This is Marc's No. 1 thing. Marc was coached in Europe. No matter who you were, you were another teammate. Everybody was required to do the same thing and everybody was held accountable."

After winning 43 games and advancing to the playoffs in his first season with Memphis, Fizdale was canned just 19 games into his second campaign.

"I really just want to get back on this sideline and take what I learned from this last situation and really try to apply it to the next organization," Fizdale said at the time. "I'm not faultless in all this stuff. I don't want to sit here and act like that. I have mistakes that I made and things that I want to grow from and learn. So whatever kind of team that is - whether that's a contender or a young team trying to be a contender or a young team trying to develop -- I'm ready to face it all."

The Knicks interview process spanned both coasts and even took Steve Mills and Scott Perry overseas, where they spoke with David Blatt. The other candidates (some as simply courtesy interviews) included Jerry Stackhouse, Mike Budenholzer, Mark Jackson, Mike Brown, James Borrego, Jay Larranaga, Mike Woodson, Kenny Smith and Juwan Howard.

Of that list, Budenholzer is probably the most accomplished candidate - at least recently. However, sources believe he will end up as the next coach at Milwaukee if he doesn't choose to sit out a year and collect his money from the Hawks. Stackhouse is a frontrunner for the Orlando job and Blatt - a good friend and college teammate of Mills - has a drama-filled stint in Cleveland that shrouds his aspirations of getting back into the NBA.

When the Knicks fired Hornacek, they set a mandate of the next coach to "understand" today's player while establishing better communication and relationships. Fizdale was popular as an assistant with Miami for eight seasons - particularly with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade - but also butted heads with Gasol.