I mean I don't generally think that Shaq or Barkley can't say what they want, but I also think current NBA players who are in better shape than either of those guys ever even claimed to be have every right to give it back just as hard.
That Shaq is being a fucking idiot on twitter makes it worse, Barkley took the Lebron response in a perfectly fine way. He didn't change his mind, but didn't go on twitter threatening Lebron either. I suppose part of that is Barkley has to know his place in the annals of history is behind Lebron.
Anyway there's never been a generation that didn't dislike the people that came up after them. This is just an issue now because social media, sports channels, and YouTube push out way more stuff now than ever came out for Barkley or Shaq. If this media environment existed for Barkley there would've been Dr. J circling his ever expanding waistline as a running joke.
Anyway, neither is really right or wrong. Got little problem with the media doing funny things to get ratings/attention and have no problem with their targets giving it back to them.