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."

Related: See the best photos from the start of the NBA playoffs: 

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CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 15: JR Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Cory Joseph #6 of the Indiana Pacers drive for a ball during the first half in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on April 15, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 14: C.J. Miles #0 of the Toronto Raptors celebrates after making a three-pointer as rap artist Drake celebrates on the sideline against the Washington Wizards in the first quarter during Game One of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre on April 14, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 15: Jeff Teague #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves goes up for a shot defended by Clint Capela #15 of the Houston Rockets and Chris Paul #3 in the second half during Game One of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center on April 15, 2018 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Terry Rozier #12 of the Boston Celtics celebrates with Jayson Tatum #0 after hitting a three point shot during the fourth quarter of Game One of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks during at TD Garden on April 15, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Apr 14, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Washngton Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) dunks for a basket against Toronto Raptors in game one of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 17: Milwaukee Bucks Tony Snell, left, gets rid of the ball in front of the Boston Celtics Greg Monroe, right, in first half action in Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2018 NBA Playoffs at the TD Garden in Boston on April 17, 2018. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Apr 19, 2018; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs small forward Davis Bertans (left) and Golden State Warriors power forward David West (3) battle for a rebound in game three of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Apr 19, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) warms up prior to game three of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heatat American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Apr 19, 2018; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) dunks over Portland Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu (8) during the second quarter in game three of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Apr 19, 2018; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Manu Ginobili (20) dives for the loose ball Golden State Warriors small forward Kevon Looney (left) in game three of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
SAN ANTONIO,TX - APRIL 22 : Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs drives on Quinn Cook #4 of the Golden State Warriors during the first half of Game Four of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 22 , 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
Apr 19, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) warms up prior to game three of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heatat American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 20: Myles Turner #33 and Bojan Bogdanovic #44 of the Indiana Pacers celebrate at the end of game three of the NBA Playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on April 20, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Pacers won 92-90. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using the photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - APRIL 21: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz go for the ball in the second half during Game Three of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Vivint Smart Home Arena on April 21, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Jazz beat the Thunder 115-102. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 24: Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics competes for a loose ball against Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks and Thon Maker #7 during the fourth quarter in Game Five in Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on April 24, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeat the Bucks 92-87. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 25: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers is showered with water while being interviewed after a 98-95 win over the Indiana Pacers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on April 25, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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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.

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