Lamar Odom got emotional while wishing happy 40th birthday to Kobe Bryant Thursday -- thanking his good friend for sticking with him through thick and thin ... even during his darkest hours.
Remember, Kobe was one of the first people who rushed to the hospital to meet with Lamar following his overdose at a Nevada brothel back in 2015.
In fact, Kobe bolted from a Lakers preseason game early right when he heard the news and was with Lamar hours after the incident.
Kobe continued to support Odom during and after his recovery -- and Odom hasn't taken his friendship for granted.
"There are no words in this world that can describe the mad love I have for you," Lamar wrote.
"I appreciate you Bean, you have been there for me in my most dark times until today and I hope till the end of times."
"We shined together in my most glorious times and those are like a tattoo in my heart . I can never repay you back for the unconditional love but I can tell you how much I appreciate you."
"Those memories we have together, nobody can take that away from us. Happy bday bro, you are forever my #1 brother for life."