If you're looking for the greatest MVP race in NBA history look no further than the ridiculous 1989-90 season That race included names like Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing ... David Robinson, Karl Malone, Isiah Thomas, Larry Bird ... Charles Barkley, Michael Jordan, and Magic Johnson ... ... who won the award despite Barkley having the most first-place votes. In all, 12 future Hall of Famers received votes in 1990, making it the best MVP race ever.