"The Knicks need players," Barkely told SNY.tv and The Knicks Blog Wednesday at a brunch promoting CBS Sports and TNT’s coverage of the NCAA Tournament.
Asked what kind of impact Jackson could make in the front office, Barkley said, "I don't know, they've got to bring in players. It's all about players, man. The coach is not their problem, but they've got to get players."
The Knicks have limited cap space and no draft pick in 2014 so it's unclear where they would get those players from.
"He can't do much," Barkley said of Jackson. "He's just got to be patient, but that's not what everybody wants to hear."
Greg Anthony, the former Knicks point guard who will also be working the NCAA Tournament, said he thinks Jackson could help change the culture of the Knicks.
"I think the first thing it does is it gives your organization tremendous credibility," Anthony said. "When you're trying to change your culture and create one of success, you have to have credibility. Everybody can tell you the right things but it doesn't always resonate. The credibility he brings to the table will allow it to resonate.
"And don't think for one second that this wouldn't enhance the opportunity of Carmelo [Anthony] coming back and it would be the first significant sign that this front office and this team has shown a commitment to winning after having such a disastrous season."
In response to Barkley's comments about needing players, Anthony said, "You can create players, you can get players, you can change your culture. No matter what they got, some of those guys on that roster have to come back just by virtue of the nature of the business. You also have to make those guys better players, more accountable.
"Yeah, they gotta get some better players, there's no doubt about it, but they'll have an opportunity to participate vis-a-vis trades and free agency to a certain extent. No doubt about it, Phil Jackson's not going to win games for them but he's going to help create an environment that's going to allow them to become more successful."
Adam Zagoria covers the New York Knicks and Big East hoops for NBA.com and SNY.tv. He also appears as a Big East Basketball Insider on SNY and 1050 ESPN Radio. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog.