Metta World Peace says he and Kobe Bryant both tried to save Lamar Odom from going down a dark path ... and were FURIOUS when they learned he overdosed in a Nevada brothel.
It was an incredibly candid moment from Metta ... who told VladTV he and Kobe love Odom like a brother.
"Kobe FaceTimes Lamar," Metta says ... "Kobe tried to reach out to Lamar plenty of times before this incident happened. I was reaching out to Lamar."
Which is why Metta says he and Kobe were both shocked and heartbroken when they found out about the incident in Nevada, right before the Lakers were set to play a preseason game.
"When Kobe found out Lamar was in the hospital, he was furious ... I was in tears."
Metta says his tears later turned to anger -- and he hated every single one of Lamar's L.A. friends, including the Kardashian family ... though he admits, his feelings may have been misguided.
"I was a little bit bitter towards the Kardashians without even knowing the situation."
Metta says he's been texting Lamar -- and though he hasn't heard back, he wants Odom to know he supports him no matter what ... and always will.