Lamar Odom says he was an "immature punk" when he broke up with Taraji P. Henson back in the day ... admitting he had no idea how to tell her he was falling for another woman, Khloe Kardashian.
Odom and Taraji dated on the low in 2009 -- Lamar has previously credited Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt for helping them get together in the first place.
During a new interview for the TV One series "Uncensored," Odom admits he was head over heels for Henson ... at first.
"She was a little older than me, but I learned a lot from her because that was the most significant relationship as a grown-up that I had with a black woman."
"I used to carry her picture on the road with me," the ex-NBA star said ... "She gave me inspiration."
Odom says just thinking about Henson used to motivate him on the court -- things like "getting to see her" would motivate him to destroy teams.
So, where did things go wrong? When he met Khloe ...
Odom has said he felt it was love at first sight with KK (they married just 1 month after meeting) ... but Lamar didn't know to handle the situation with Taraji.
"Things ended with Taraji because of me being an immature punk. I didn't know how to tell her I was falling in love with another woman named Khloe Kardashian."
Odom doesn't say in the clip if the two are still friendly -- but Taraji has obviously moved on. She's now engaged to former NFL cornerback Kelvin Hayden.
As for Lamar, he and Khloe broke up in 2013 -- but the divorce wasn't finalized until 2016.
It's clear Lamar still has feelings for Khloe ... but she's currently in a complicated baby daddy situation with Tristan Thompson.