Terrell Owens says Blake Griffin was just JOKING when he claimed the ex-NFL star begged the Clippers for an NBA tryout over the summer ... because that's totally not something T.O. would do.
The drama began earlier this week ... when Griffin appeared on the Dan Patrick radio show and said, "Terrell Owens is always ... he was at our practice facility this summer, begging coaches for a 10-day contract.”
But T.O.'s rep tells us Blake was just kidding ... explaining, "Blake and Terrell are friends. Terrell never begged to become a Clipper."
The rep says Terrell WAS at the Clippers practice facility over the summer, but only because Jasen Powell -- T.O.'s good friend -- is the team's head trainer.
Still, the rep notes, "As everyone knows, [Terrell] can play a serious game of ball."