The Clippers aren't trolling the Lakers by turning the team locker room into an owners lounge for the NBA playoffs -- they asked the team for permission and got it ... TMZ Sports has learned.
There were rumblings that the Clips were trying to diss Laker Nation by using their space at Staples Center as Steve Ballmer's personal hangout area ... since the Clips are still playing and the Lakers didn't even come close to the playoffs.
But it just ain't the case -- at least according to Staples Center honcho Lee Zeidman who tells us there was an arrangement made before the 1st playoff game.
"The team inquired about using the Lakers locker room as a space for the Clippers owner. The Lakers gracefully granted use."
He continued, "People are trying to make something out of this, as if the Clippers are pissing off the Lakers by using their locker room. That's not true at all. We'd never use the Lakers space without asking the team."